Country star Dierks Bentley is a headliner in his own right. But touring with Brad Paisley, he figures, can only help make his star burn a little brighter.
“Over the last couple years I was ... obviously playing to less people than Brad’s playing for,” Phoenix native Bentley, 33, says of accepting his current opening slot. “So when Brad came to us with an offer to go on the road with him, I had the new record (‘Feel That Fire,’ his fourth studio album) coming out and wanted to get that music in front of as many people as possible.
“I always wanted to tour with Brad in general, and I knew that every night I’d be guaranteed to sing in front of a lot of people. And since I write most of my songs, I want to be able to sing them in front of as many people as possible. So this was the best option.”
It certainly seems like a wise choice. Since the chart-topping “Feel That Fire” came out in February, he’s had two No. 1 hits — the title track and “Sideways.” That gives him seven career No. 1’s and puts him just behind Keith Urban as this year’s hottest country hitmaker.
And, Bentley adds, the success justifies the two years he spent making the album and “giving my producers gray hairs.”
“It took a long time,” he says, “but at the end of the day, we have a record we can be proud of. When it comes to making records, I look more to the rock world than the country world. The rock bands who are on top now don’t treat the albummaking process as something they do in down time. They might take a couple years, four years to put something out.
“Look at U2 ... Coldplay, Green Day. They see the album as being important, not just a collection of songs that you sang and (recorded) quickly to put something out every year. I don’t relate to that at all. I definitely relate to the rock world more, and treating the album as something really important.”
Dierks Bentley performs with Brad Paisley and Jimmy Wayne at 7:30 p.m. Friday (July 10) at the DTE Energy Music Theatre, Sashabaw Road east of I-75, Independence Township. Tickets are $56.50 pavilion, $32.50 lawn with a $99 lawn four-pack. Call (248) 377-0100 or visit www.palacenet.com.
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