Bentley is no Country Clunker


I have to be honest here, I might live in the South and been intertwined with Country Music for a long portion of my life, but I have strayed in recent years towards that demon rock and roll again and have not been so aware of a few of the new horses in Country Music like Dierks Bentley. But I did pop online to I-Tunes and checked out a few of his latest offerings and I got to tell you, the guy has that deep voice that reminds me a bit of Trace Adkins, who graced the Rays Concert stage in 2008.

And you might ask why I am tuning into Country right now with the season at my doorstep. Well, in the next day or so the Rays will release their final 5 bands/artists for the Hess Express/Rays Saturday Night Concert Series, and …..Dierks Bentley will be the featured artist after the Saturday, September 18th game against the Los Angeles Angels. And after watching a few of his videos and listening to some of his songs online this week, I am excited to see this Country artist play within the confines of Tropicana Field in 2010.

I presented another band yesterday (Train) to that will also grace the Rays Concert series in 2010, but Bentley right now is about to release another album in 2010 and based on his past success, this year might just be the year people talk about him from stem to stern. And Bentley does have some lineage to the Rays having attended Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn , the same fine institution that gave us Rays starter David Price.

And even though Bentley has only been on the National County Music scene since his self-titled debut album hit the stores in 2003, he has turned that into 13 singles on the Country Music charts in which 7 reached the #1 spot. On that debut album he released “What Was I thinking”, which became his first #1 Country hit. Both his debut album and his follow-up release “Modern Day Drifter” were certified platinum albums.


But Bentley might be better known for the hits “Come a Little Closer”, “Settle for a Slowdown”, “Every Miles a Memory” “Free and Easy (Down the Road I Go)”, “Feel That Fire” and “Sideways”. It is rare that an artists, no matter what music category has the ability to produce a “greatest Hits” album after only 7 years in the Country ranks. But this country singer who was named for his maternal grandmother and born in the western state of Arizona has had his share of wild adventures and cross country jaunts.


Early in life his mother moved him to the more rock-oriented city of Lawrenceville, New Jersey where he finally graduated before heading to University of Vermont before heading south to Nashville and Vanderbilt University and spending time with the SAE (Sigma Alpha Epsilon) Fraternity. And I hate to tell all the female Rays fans, but Dierks is a married man with a beautiful baby girl who was born in October,2008. And Bentley got one of his first introductions to the Country Music scene while working for The Nashville Network (now Spike TV) researching old concert footage.

And maybe that small position has come in handy as some say that he is a master in using the entire stage while performing in concert. I have to say that I have a hidden closet of warmth and admiration for Country Music artists and their unique brand of storytelling via the songs and inspirations behind the melodies. But again the Rays have brought in an artists that will appeal the mass Country audience that is situated with the Tampa Bay region. You can expect another sold-out crowd and a few 10-gallon hats during this night’s performance, and maybe even a few Texas two-steps within the hallways and floor of the Trop.

Got to tell you the one song I am really looking forward to is “Sideways”, which is a bit of most fans weekend ritual songs….or is that just me? But with the inclusion of Train and now Dierks Bentley, the Rays still have three more artists to reveal before the season begins and who knows, maybe it could be another great band like Hoobastank or……..who knows. But when I find out, you know I will definitely let you all know as soon as possible.

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