Dierks Bentley: 3 Days That Changed My Life
Dierks Bentley kicks back in his Nashville home and digs down deep to share memories of pivotal moments.
It’s a happy Dierks Bentley who enters his house a few short blocks from Nashville’s famed Music Row, puts down his guitar and greets his “boys”—aka dogs Jake and George. He immediately begins to play with them on the living room floor of the comfortable three-story home he shares with wife Cassidy and their six-month-old daughter, Evie (rhymes with Chevy).
But why shouldn’t Dierks be happy?
He’s about to do a photo shoot for his first-ever solo CW cover story (he shared the cover with George Strait in ’05). The title cut and first single off Dierks’ acclaimed new Feel That Fire CD went No. 1 on the charts the same week the CD debuted at the top of the country album charts. His latest single, “Sideways,” is getting great reviews. He’s having a blast touring with Brad Paisley. And he’s head-over-heels in love with his wife and child.
During an afternoon chatting with CW’s David Scarlett, Dierks shares some details of major milestones in his life. Here’s some of what he had to say.
For more from Dierks, check out the April 13 issue of Country Weekly.
Watching Dierks in His Element
- [Looking at downstairs photos, one of which features his young namesake] Cody Canada named his son Dierks, that’s the only other Dierks I know.
- [Photo of Dierks holding Evie up to look out the bus window.] That’s Evie’s first road trip. Dec. 29th, leaving Arizona.
- [Dierks Sings “Wubba Nub Girl,” a song he wrote for Evie] Just a little red dog, with a green thing on the end, but I tell you my WubbaNub is my best friend. There every morning, when the sun goes down, when I’m lookin’ for a hug when no one can be found . . . My Wubba Nub . . . and it’s him I love . . .Never get enough . . . no, no . . . can’t get enough . . .of my WubbaNub . . . To Evie, what do you think of that?
- [He puts Evie up on the kitchen island, and she wobbles as he holds her up] Why are your legs spread so far apart, girlie? She’s got this wide stance.
- [Dierks sings “Here Today, Gone Tomorrow” to Evie] No response, huh? [Dierks chuckles]
- She’s listening.
- Listening’s not enough for my audience . . . I want her on her feet!
- [Dierks sings “This Beautiful World” from the new album . . . Evie spits up] That counts . . . spit up’s good! Throw up or spit up . . . either one’s fine. It’s a response.
- Do you guys have a design style . . . something you plan? Or is it more like, when you see something you really like, you just get it?
- I don’t know. We had some help puttin’ the place together, that’s for sure. The idea was to keep it kind of low on stuff, and high on things that matter, like pictures. Like these pictures [a gorgeous outdoor shot of Dierks with Cassidy] from my Long Trip Alone photo shoot, the cover of my album. Cass was there, and we got that shot. Johnny Cash. These pictures are really important to us because he embodies to us what we love in a relationship. The Ryman. Every picture we have up is meaningful.
- As laid back as it is, I would guess Nashville’s not really a problem for you to walk around in, in terms of being bothered by people.
- It’s easy for me. I have no pretensions. I don’t travel in a group. I think I offset any of that by being so approachable. I’ve been here for 14 years . . . and I was talking to somebody about that earlier tonight. About being so thankful that I got my start playing in bars and clubs down there and I was forced to get to know people. I had to get to know musicians, ’cause I don’t play by myself. I’m not a one-man band. I need players. So I had a list of players. Three o-clock a call would come in and the steel player I had lined up couldn’t do it. So I go down my list. Paul Franklin, “Hey Paul, this is Dierks. I know you do mostly session stuff. I’m a new kid in town, I’m playing downtown, I do mostly ’50s, ’60s shuffles. You want to come down and play?” “Can’t do it tonight. Thanks for callin’, try this guy.” So I was forced to get out and about. I didn’t come here guarded. So, now when I go out and about, nobody bothers me. You can make yourself a celebrity if you want to be. You can put on airs and wear a hat and sunglasses or you can just be a regular dude. You close off a lot of things when you put on those airs. I’ve never had a problem with that. People are great with me. I appreciate it when they say something.
- Do you workout when you’re home?
- We gave each other a treadmill for Christmas. I don’t really use it. She runs every day. I work out on the road. When I’m home, the last thing on my mind is to go to the gym and work out. I spend so much time on the road. I also play hockey. I’ve got a game tomorrow night at 9:15. Hockey’s like the most cardio-crazy workout you can get. And the show itself, we run all over the stage.
- What’s the name of your hockey team?
- The Ice Holes. It’s the best name for a team I’ve ever come across. We have a web site and everything.
- Is there a typical day when you’re home?
- The routine for Cass and I probably starts about 5:30 or 6, that’s when we’ll open a bottle of wine and then really reconnect at the end of the day. That’s our favorite time of day. The morning’s the best time with Evie, ’cause she’s just so cute in the mornings. Usually when I’m home, there’s stuff goin’ on. If there is a routine and a time we spend together, it’s in the evening when we’ll play music. There’s so much stuff to do when I’m here—especially with this album release—it’s been a long year. But I really look forward to the evenings. Knowing that 6 o’clock’s just around the corner and we can open some wine up and just talk forever.
- What kind of music?
- Usually we’ll turn the TV on to the country channel or adult alternative station . . . some older country. Or just adult contemporary. Just some background noise so we can talk. That’s why we only have one TV in the house. I love watchin’ TV at the right moments, but let’s just not have it on all the time. There’s just no way to catch up with somebody when the TV’s on. I’ll start watchin’ it.
- If you could leave Evie four or five things to help her through the rest of her life . . . whether advice, principles to live by . . . or whatever . . . what would you want her to know?
- I want her as a person to just be simple and natural and unassuming. And be able to really just have an open mind to everything. See things for what they truly are and not for what your mind perceives them to be. In order to do that, I want to just be a good influence as a human being. As she comes up and learns and sees things and starts to form an opinion of them, I’ll try to be there to help encourage her to be open-minded to everything around her.
- I think Joseph Campbell’s the author of Follow Your Bliss. My mom used to always tell me that. I didn’t really get it at the time. But I get that saying now more than ever. It’s like, really just try to follow your heart. And don’t let your mind get in the way. It’s not just about chasing dreams or becoming somebody. It’s about always evolving, not just as a human and trying to accomplish goals, but as a being. You know, just listening to your inner self and trying to find what makes you happy. No matter what it is. Just be a source of positive light for all those around you. I don’t know how I’m gonna do that.
- If we’d had a boy, I’d have all sorts of easy advice. “I’m gonna raise him to play hockey, he’s gonna drive trucks, he’s gonna listen to country music!” [he chuckles]. A girl, it’s like, man, you just really need to sit back and let them evolve in front of you. Because, certainly for me, I don’ know . . . and I’m glad, too. ’Cause I don’t want to steer her in any certain direction. I want her to become the person she wants to become and be there along the way to push her, prod her, guide her. If it’s a guy raising a guy . . . it’s, “Oh yeah. I know exactly how to raise a little dude!” With a girl it’s like, whoa . . . you just start looking at everything differently. I’ve just got to be there to allow her to blossom into the girl she wants to be.
For more from Dierks, check out the April 13 issue of Country Weekly.