So you're a big-name Nashville artist and you release a new album and you happen to own a swanky country music club in your hometown 1,500 miles away in the Arizona desert. Where do you hold the album release party?
Yep, a no brainer: At home.
Bentley is celebrating the release of his new album "Riser," which came out Tuesday. It's a pretty darn good album — perfectly imperfect, with the focus squarely on Bentley's rough-hewn vocals and scarcely a hint of auto-tune, studio meddling. Bentley paints a personal picture that goes beyond country star glitz and glam. This is old-school country record making, drawing from Bentley's life markers — the death of his father and the birth of his son, both in the past year. The album's opener "Bourbon In Kentucky" dips into a familiar well of drinking yourself out of heartbreak. Then there's the requisite stroll down lost youth avenue with "Pretty Girls" drinking tall boys before Bentley takes a sharp turn on the first single "I Hold On." It's a song that celebrates the memory and lessons learned and mourns the loss of a father, emotions that he carries over on the acoustic rich, mandolin plucking "Damn These Dreams." The song sounds like he could have recorded it in a closet. That's a good thing — a very good thing. It's raw and emotional and honest and vulnerable.
Throughout the album, Bentley scales new sonic heights, introducing bluegrass melodies that play like a small orchestra. This is music that happily straddles country and bluegrass with very few cheap punches to please the commercial radio programmers. And yet this is an album that will have those same programmers eagerly spinning an album full of future No. 1 hits.
So you can see why Bentley would want to share this special album with people who know him best and knew him when.
Doors at Dierks Bentley’s Whiskey Row, l4420 N. Saddlebag Trail No. 105 in Scottsdale, open at 7 p.m. Tickets are $40 at the door. To reserve a table or reserve bottle service, call 1-480-945-4200.