Dierks Bentley - ‘Gravel & Gold’
“Well, I oughta admit I got a little more roll than rock/A little more don't care with a little touch of gray on top,” sings Dierks Bentley on his 10th studio album. Bentley might have changed slightly over time on the outside, but his passion for country music on the inside remains as vibrant as when first heard on his debut effort 20 years ago when he was a much younger modern day drifter.
Just like on his last release in 2018, Bentley continues to profess his love for the great outdoors and the clean air, snow-capped mountains and rolling rivers on “Sun Sets in Colorado” by announcing, “My heart beats in Tennessee/But my sun sets in Colorado.” While he’s been a variety of places, Bentley knows Colorado is a place that when you leave, you can’t wait to go back.
“Beer at My Funeral” has Bentley looking ahead as he ponders his departure from the grand stage with two specific requests when proclaiming, “They better have cold beer at my funeral/They better play good country music.” Something tells me he’s referring to contributions by Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, Merle Haggard, George Jones and Tammy Wynette. Now, that sounds like a fantastic final farewell to me.
“Heartbreak Drinking Tour” finds Bentley trying to shake the memory of a former lover by drifting from town to town and numbing the pain with alcohol as he sings, “And had some long necks in Las Vegas/Had some Tucson Tanqueray/Cuervo Gold in Silver City/Sipped some wine in Santa Fe/Girl, it just might take all 50/Just to get you off my mind.”
“Something Real” addresses the search for truth in a world full of superficial experiences. Bentley yearns for authentic connections such as real conversations about mistakes and triumphs, feeling nature up close during a mountain climb, finding a love that feels like home and experiencing the kind of moments that make his whole world stand still and provide a little backbone in his backbeat.
“High Note” closes the set with a little Bentley humor about how he’s preparing for the end of times. “If they ever drop the big one, I got me a plan/I won't be in no bunker, eating peaches from a can/I’ll be holed up in the basement with two very special guests/A big ol' stack of Flatt and Scruggs and a bag of Willie's best,” declares Bentley.
Bentley hopes to hit numerous authentic notes when he comes to Pittsburgh on June 24.
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