Paying homage to his musical roots in a manner that’s atypical for a mainstream star, Dierks Bentley’s Up On The Ridge album hits the marketplace on Tuesday just as the title track reaches the Top 25 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart.
Dierks already toured to give a preview of the project, appropriately ending the jaunt at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium, where the bluegrass genre coalesced during the 1940s in the first Grand Ole Opry appearance of a Bill Monroe band that included Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs. The Ryman is less than a mile from the Station Inn, a bluegrass club in Nashville that Dierks frequently attended before he ever got a recording contract. His experiences there gave him some background in the bluegrass genre that offset some of the hard-rock sounds he gravitated to as a kid, and Up On The Ridge pays homage to his education.
“I set out to make an album that wasn’t defined by genre and did my best to break down what people’s preconceptions were about what ‘bluegrass’ music can sound like,” Dierks says. “It’s so awesome to see the single hit the Top 30 and climb up the country radio charts and to see fans get really excited about a fresh sound. I didn’t know what the reception would be; I just set out to make a great album. I couldn’t be prouder of the outcome. The whole process has been magical.”
Dierks plans an album release party Wednesday night at Limelight, a venue that’s literally across the street from Nashville’s LP Field, where the CMA Music Festival begins four nights of star-filled concerts on Thursday.