In honor of the release this Tuesday (Feb. 25) of his new studio album Riser, Dierks Bentley is our Impact artist this week.
Two years in the making, Bentley’s album is almost certainly the most personal he’s ever recorded.
“I named the album Riser because the lyrics in that song perfectly articulate who I want to be, who I try to be,” Bentley said. “There’s a lot of really intense material on this record, but there’s also a lighter side that is equally important in telling the story of the last two years of my life.”
“It’s been a real learning experience for me,” he said.
That “intense” time in Bentley’s life included the death of his father, but also the birth late last year of his son Knox. And as he explained in a recent interview with Rolling Stone, the album went through some changes during this time. “The record I had originally made, my dad was alive at the time and my wife and I had two kids. Life was stabilized,” Bentley said. “And then all of a sudden my dad passed away. Then my wife got pregnant and my son was coming, which was just a whole mix of emotions for me.”
The album kicks off with his duet with Kacey Musgraves, “Bourbon In Kentucky,” which was released last summer. It also includes “I Hold On,” Bentley’s current single. The video for that song premiered last year on Radio.com.
“I’m not just putting out a collection of songs,” Bentley said of Riser. “I think in the end I have a record that really reflects who I am and who I’m trying to be. I definitely feel I’ve come out the other side stronger.”
Bentley has also created a film about the process he went through — both professionally and personally — in the making of the album. Titled Dierks Bentley: Riser, the film was directed and shot by Wes Edwards over the course of the last two years. In addition to screenings in select cities, the full film will be available for fans on Palladia Television Network on Feb. 22.
“I wanted this album to be that deeper look at who I am and who I try to be, and so I guess it’s the same with this film, too,” Bentley said.
Ultimately, road road to Riser has been a long but powerful journey for Bentley. “I hope that my fans can feel how much of myself I put into this project,” he said. “It’s all out on the table, for sure.”
Riser Track List:
1. Bourbon In Kentucky (Hlilary Lindsey, Gordie Sampson, Ryan Tyndell)
** Background vocals by Kacey Musgraves
2. Say You Do (Shane McAnally, Matt Ramsey, Trever Rosen)
3. I Hold On (Brett James, Dierks Bentley)
4. Pretty Girls (Jessi Alexander, Jon Randall, Dierks Bentley)
5. Here On Earth (Ross Copperman, Ryan Tyndell, Dierks Bentley)
6. Drunk On A Plane (Josh Kear, Chris Tompkins, Dierks Bentley)
7. Five (Ross Copperman, Ryan Tyndell, Dierks Bentley)
8. Riser (Travis Meadows, Steve Moakler)
9. Sounds of Summer (Zach Crowell, Matt Jenkins, Adam Sanders)
10. Damn These Dreams (Ross Copperman, Jaren Johnston, Dierks Bentley)
11. Back Porch (Cary Barlowe, Jaren Johnston, Hillary Lindsey)
12. Hurt Somebody (Matt Fleener, Shane McAnally, Mark Nesler)
** Background vocals by Chris Stapleton