Dierks Bentley new album brings country fans "Home"

Tue Feb 7, 2012 3:02pm EST
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By Vernell Hackett

NASHVILLE, Tenn (Reuters) - If the single "Home" is the cornerstone of Dierks Bentley's latest album of the same name, then the song "Thinking of You" is the CD's hearth because the fire within it warms both body and soul.

Bentley wrote the song for his 3-year-old daughter, Evie, who sings on the track of the new album that went on sale on Tuesday.

"I'm not someone to put their kid on their album," Bentley, the father of two daughters, told Reuters in an interview. "I got this email on my birthday when I was out on the road and it was Evie singing that song back to me. It just about broke my heart. It was the best and worst birthday present ever.

"It's so real and honest and I just couldn't take it off the track once I heard it. You know in country music there are sad songs about drinking and love gone wrong but there's another whole level of sad when you're missing your daughter. That's a whole range of emotion there I'd never felt before."

The 36-year-old Bentley's passion shows through whether he is singing about his daughter or a relationship ready to leap to the next level, or delivering fun-loving tunes like the new album's first single, "Am I The Only One?"

The singer's ninth album follows his highly successful offering "Up on the Ridge" that landed Bentley three Grammy nominations last year, including for Best Country Album. All told, Bentley has had eight No. 1 singles, including "Feel That Fire" and "Sideways."

He said "Up on the Ridge" gave him a chance to stretch out.

"My fans allowed me to experiment and do things a little different, and I still think the record opened the landscape creatively for me," Bentley said.   Continued...

<p>Singer Dierks Bentley arrives at the 45th Country Music Association Awards in Nashville, Tennessee November 9, 2011. REUTERS/Harrison McClary</p>