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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 year’s 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, 2006’s “Long Trip Alone,” debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard country charts and recently spawned a fourth single, “Trying to Stop Your Leaving.” “I don’t ever want to be changed by what’s going on around me. I love where I am. I have great success, a great band, a great connection with the audience. I’m 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 don’t have weird security problems. So I feel really lucky. I wouldn’t change anything.”

That goes for his next album, too, which Bentley says he’s 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 he’s 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 it’s better than anything we’ve ever done,” Bentley says. “I’m trying to keep it tied to writing great songs, great melodies, great country instrumentation like steel guitar, fiddle and dobro and banjo.

“And I’ll try to be a little more progressive, too, so I’m 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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