Between dropping a brand-new No. 1 album, making the late-night television rounds and hitting the road for a slew of tour dates, Dierks Bentley is having a busy summer. Factor in raising three kids—Evelyn, 9, Jordan, 7, and Knox, 4—with wife Cassidy and it’s a wonder he’s not already running on fumes. Or maybe he is.
But that hasn’t stopped the entertainer, pilot and dad from taking time to learn a couple of new things along the way. As he told Kix Brooks of American Country Countdown, his kids are great teachers.
“[The last thing I learned] was bravery—how to be brave,” says Dierks. “I just flew my little prop plane out to Asheville, North Carolina, at four in the morning with my nine-year-old, and she’s just brave, man. She’s going to three weeks of camp, which is pretty wild to be gone away from us for three weeks. My wife and I were putting her to bed together and putting some stuff in there, and I was putting some pictures on the wall in her bunk and she’s like, ‘Alright, guys, time for you guys to go.’ I was like, ‘What?’ ‘Yeah, you need to go. Mom, Dad . . . go, go.’”
Dierks’ new album, The Mountain, which features 13 tracks (10 of which he co-wrote), is unified by a theme of presence—something he also credits his kids with teaching him. The impetus for the album’s creation was Dierk’s June 2017 performance at the Telluride Bluegrass Festival in the town of Telluride in the San Juan Mountains of southwestern Colorado. Dierks returned to Telluride a short time later for a week-long retreat with fellow songwriters Natalie Hemby, Luke Dick, Ross Copperman, Jon Randall, Jon Nite and Ashley Gorley and wrote the bulk of the album’s songs, including the title track.
“I think the main thing that I learn from all of my kids is just presence,” added Dierks. “I mean, if you need to learn how to be present in a moment, be around a four-year-old because he’s not thinking about anything except ‘right here, right now.’ They’re the greatest teachers. I think presence and being brave because, for them, there are so many new firsts. Everything they do is a first in some way, and you can learn a lot from those guys.”
photo by Tammie Arroyo, AFF-USA.com