Dierks Bentley Sparked High Energy On The Road To Record 'Gravel & Gold'
By Kelly Fisher
February 24, 2023
Dierks Bentley’s highly-anticipated 10th studio album — which he recorded and re-recorded three times — has finally arrived.
Gravel & Gold, a collection “about perspective and self-awareness,” made its debut on Friday (February 24). It’s been a longtime coming, as Bentley kicked off recording sessions during the pandemic; however, the superstar singer-songwriter recalled that keeping a distance from his collaborators and wearing a mask in the studio didn’t result in an album with the “spark” he was aiming to have. By the third try, Bentley said Gravel & Gold projected “nothing but just great vibes, great energy.” Now, Gravel & Gold captures everything from “the arena shaker to the barroom weeper to the bluegrass fireballer,” reads a press release announcing the release of the country star’s latest album.
“You know, the first time I went to go in to record this album was during the pandemic, and it wasn’t a lot of fun being in the studio where you had to get Covid testing and you had to wear a mask. Very non-conducive to making art, to making music, so it really kind of messed up the session a little bit,” Bentley recalled of the process, per his record label. “And I cut 14 songs and decided it just was missing a little bit of the spark that comes from the fun of being in the studio and collaborating with your friends without all of those restrictions. So, the first take didn’t go so well because of that, but it just got more fun the more I worked on it, and by the time I went back in to the studio for the third time, man, it was nothing but just great vibes, great energy and I think you can hear that throughout the whole album.”
Bentley’s 14-track LP includes a few previously-released favorites and anticipated anthems that he’s teased on his social media channels, including “Same Ol’ Me,” “Beer At My Funeral,” “Cowboy Boots” featuring Ashley McBryde, “Gold,” and the bluegrass jam, “High Note,” among other highlights. Bentley celebrated the release of his new album with a live-streamed performance from the CMA Theater at the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville, Tennessee. An Evening With Dierks Bentley: The Road To Gravel & Gold streamed on Thursday evening (February 23).
- “Same Ol’ Me” (Luke Dick, Jon Randall, Dierks Bentley)
- “Sun Sets In Colorado” (Ross Copperman, Tommy Lee James, Josh Osborne)
- “Heartbreak Drinking Tour” (Luke Dick, Ashley Gorley, Michael Hardy, Ross Copperman, Dierks Bentley)
- “Something Real” (Luke Dick, Ashley Gorley, Michael Hardy, Ross Copperman, Dierks Bentley)
- “Still” (Jeff Hyde, Ryan Tyndell, Jeremy Spillman, Dierks Bentley)
- “Beer At My Funeral” (Brett Beavers, Jim Beavers)
- “Cowboy Boots” (Featuring Ashley McBryde) (Casey Brown, Jordan Minton, Hunter Phelps, Dierks Bentley)
- “Gold” (Luke Dick, Ashley Gorley, Ross Copperman, Dierks Bentley)
- “Walking Each Other Home” (Luke Dick, John Osborne, Dierks Bentley)
- “Roll On” (Brett Beavers, Jim Beavers, Dierks Bentley)
- “All The Right Places” (Josh Osborne, Ross Copperman, Dierks Bentley)
- “Ain’t All Bad” (Casey Brown, Jordan Minton, Hunter Phelps, Dierks Bentley)
- “Old Pickup” (Neil Thrasher, Tony Martin, Michael Dulaney)
- “High Note” (Featuring Billy Strings) (Jim Beavers, Charlie Worsham)
“It’s always weird to look back and think about it in terms like that — 20 years, 10th album. You know, I feel like every album could be your last one,” Bentley said on Friday, in part. “It’s a big record. It really is a big record. It’s my 10th record, and it just feels like a great collection of an album for me. I mean, that’s all you can do, is having something that you don’t have any regrets about, you put all the time into it, it wasn’t rushed. It’s as good as I can make it and as good as we can make it. I do feel like this record is, in some ways, a full-circle moment for me because it has a lot to do with being back in Nashville, embracing the city again and being grateful for all the city’s given me. …It’s unbelievable. It’s given me a great life.”
Gravel & Gold is Bentley’s latest full-length album since releasing The Mountain in 2018. It resulted from “an especially careful production process, one helmed by the artist himself for the first time.”
“It’s been a long road: a 20-year journey filled with highs and lows, twists and turns,” Bentley previously said as he announced his album’s title and release date. “My love for country music, that’s what’s always kept me going. Town to town, show to show. Small clubs to packed arenas. I worked hard, I took chances, went for things.
“The journey isn’t where I’ve been, it’s the thing I carry with me into my 10th album,” he continued. “I wrote. I recorded. It wasn’t good enough. I threw it out, and started over — twice. I had to get it right. For the fans, for me. It had to be the best country music I’ve ever made. Everyone showed up: my heroes and my friends. We did it together. It’s the love, the lessons, the Gravel & Gold.”