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Dierks Bentley Happy To Be "A Regular Dude"

Of the Oakland Press

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Dierks Bentley was 0 for his four Grammy Awards nominations at this years ceremony, but claims that has little effect on the greater scheme of things in his life.

I pride myself on just being a regular dude, says the Phoenix-born Bentley, 32, whose latest album, 2006s Long Trip Alone, debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard country charts and recently spawned a fourth single, Trying to Stop Your Leaving. I dont ever want to be changed by whats going on around me. I love where I am. I have great success, a great band, a great connection with the audience. Im able to tour and do pretty big shows.

But I drive the same truck I moved to (Nashville) with back in 1994. I hang out with the same people. I dont have weird security problems. So I feel really lucky. I wouldnt change anything.

That goes for his next album, too, which Bentley says hes just started recording and has been writing songs for since the end of 2006. Some of the fresh material may end up on a greatest hits collection hes planning for May, while he hopes to have an album of all-new songs out before the end of the year.

I want to make sure its better than anything weve ever done, Bentley says. Im trying to keep it tied to writing great songs, great melodies, great country instrumentation like steel guitar, fiddle and dobro and banjo.

And Ill try to be a little more progressive, too, so Im not bored. I want to keep doing things that excite me, musically, and hopefully that keep the audience excited and interested, too.

Dierks Bentley, Luke Bryan and Bucky Covington perform at 7:30 p.m. Thursday (Feb. 21) at The Palace, Lapeer Road at I-75, Auburn Hills. Tickets are $39 and $32. Call (248) 377-0100 or visit www.palacenet.com.

Web Site: www.palacenet.com

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