Dierks Bentley (who was given a family name as a first name) grew up in Phoenix, listening to George Strait and Hank Williams with his dad. He moved from listener to player when he picked up an electric guitar at 13. He started out playing the music his classmates listened to, mostly rock, until a friend played him the Hank Williams Jr. song, "Man to Man."
Bentley moved to Nashville, Tenn., at 19 and immersed himself in the local music scene, discovering that side of the city at a point when he was discouraged with the Nashville music business. It was a time of one cowboy-hatted, starched jeans-wearing singer after another. At that low point, he stumbled on the Station Inn, a club that is in many ways a "mecca" for bluegrass fans worldwide. He took some of what he learned from bluegrass and applied it to the country music in his bones. He dug deeper into the music to learn more about the artists who came before him. It didn't hurt that his day job at The Nashville Network (TNN) involved searching through old footage of country performances.
Taking what he learned, he played all sorts of places: the hushed writer's nights around town, the beer-soaked backyard parties and barbecues and an ever-revolving lineup of local bars. As his songwriting improved, he recorded a demo, which led to a publishing deal. In 2003, Capitol Nashville released his self-titled debut album, which featured his successful first single, "What Was I Thinkin'?"
In 2005, Modern Day Drifter boosted his profile, due to the hits "Lot of Leavin' Left to Do," "Come a Little Closer" and "Settle For a Slowdown" -- all the while maintaining his extensive touring profile. He won the CMA Horizon Award in November 2005 and eloped to Mexico with his high school sweetheart a few weeks later. In 2006, he released his third album, Long Trip Alone, with the hit "Every Mile a Memory."
Dierks Bentley performed for our KASE 101 listeners in a up close and personal performance LIVE at the KASE Live Music Lounge. Watch him perform his hits "What Was I Thinking", "Long Trip Alone", Come Alittle Closer", "Free & Easy" and more!
Click Here to see all our KASE 101 listeners personal pictures with Dierks Bentley! Every big act to come through the Sprint Lounge, we have you, the listener, win a chance to watch, meet and get an autograph from. And don't forget to bring your camera so you can get a picture too!