Dierks Bentley has been a mainstay on the country charts since releasing his debut single “What Was I Thinkin'” nearly 20 years ago. The song became the first of Bentley’s 21 No. 1 hits. The latest single “Gold”, from his upcoming tenth studio album, ushers in a new era for the singer.
Bentley, who was instrumental in both writing and producing “Gold,” is involved in all aspects of her career. In addition to writing, producing and touring, the singer founded the Seven Peaks Music Festival, launched his Dierks Bentley’s Whiskey Row bar and restaurant franchise in four locations and unveiled the Flag & Anthem Desert Son clothing line. . Although he’s a natural performer, the singer admits the business side of things “always bothered him”.
“I don’t want to be in business, I just want to be a country singer,” he tells me. “That’s enough for me. I think one of my strengths is knowing my weaknesses.
Bentley admits that every business venture happened organically. He says he never wanted to be involved in a country bar, but he grew up at the Rockin’ Horse Saloon in Scottsdale, AZ, which burned down in 1996.
“It was the initial little dream that just grew up,” he says of his bar. “The Flag & Anthem thing was based on the clothes that I wear, and I met these guys who liked the same things that I liked. So it grew.
“I think one of my goals is really…and I think ‘Gold’ kinda talks about that, it’s just to be there and be excited about it all,” he continues. “That’s where my life is right now. It’s pretty crazy and it’s all happening at once. You can’t put it off. … So trying to lean into it and not have a defensive posture is something I always tell myself when it comes to all of this.
Bentley says he’s also learned to say no to certain business opportunities that don’t make sense for him or his career. Although he’s had several TV offers over the years, he says he turned them down because they weren’t the right fit.
“I’m busy with a small film offer at the moment,” he says. “I am not an actor. I mean, I can fake it pretty well for three minutes in a video but I’m not much of an actor. It’s a little disrespectful to this whole profession to think that you can be. It’s a big commitment. So you want to make sure that if you get involved in something, you’re going to be all in. I guess that would be my advice.
Bentley took his own advice when making his tenth album. He says he went to the studio three times with different producers for the project. “Gold” was written towards the end of the process with frequent collaborators Ross Copperman, Luke Dick and Ashley Gorley. The song was inspired by Bentley’s time in Colorado during Covid-19 with his family as well as their recent return to Nashville.
“I got a little rust on my Chevy but it’s ready to roll/ Got a rhinestone sky and a song in my soul/ It’s not a smooth ride, life is a winding road / Yeah it might be gravel but I feel gold,” Bentley sings on the chorus of the song.
“I needed a break from all of this,” he says of his departure from Music City. “I came back thrilled to be back in Nashville and with more gratitude than ever for the city and all it has given me. The song is a lot about being present in the moment. You recognize that the grass isn’t always greener – even though the mountains are higher in Colorado – but it’s pretty good where you are. That’s a message for me as much as anyone else. .
Bentley says his tenth album will include his bluegrass and “old school country” influences as well as the big bass drums, guitars and sounds for the arenas and amphitheaters he plays.
“There’s a little mix of everything that made me who I am on this record,” he says.
“Gold” is available now.