Dierks Bentley has released the first single off his highly anticipated new album Riser. Dierks is one of the best in country music at mixing traditional country with modern country in a sound that stays true to the genre, but still has commercial success. "Bourbon In Kentucky" is the first single from an album described as moody and deep. If this single is a beacon for where the new album is headed, we are in for a treat.
“Bourbon in Kentucky” is a song that pops out on country radio. It seems that in today’s country scene, it’s an endless pattern of party anthems, country pride songs, and light love songs. The songs with emotion and soul are few and far between. Thankfully, Dierks is bucking that trend with this release. This song is sad and lonesome as can be. Lines like “with my mouth wide open in a whiskey rain, I could stand here 24 hours a day” and “there ain’t enough bottle I can break to make em feel as broken as I do” really bring the loneliness to its peak. This is not a song with a happy ending or a funny twist. This is a man who is broken and lost. We need more of that.
Sonically, this song has a slow and drawn out delivery. The way Dierks hangs on every word really draws out the pain and suffering of this song. The song starts out agonizingly slow and builds progressively as the song goes along. The backing instruments start mellow and end with a pounding melody that goes right along with the melancholy nature of the song. It is still rooted in country music, but it is a loud full sound more custom to rock and roll than honky-tonk music. Kacey Musgraves does a wonderful job providing a soft harmony. Kacey’s smooth delivery of the harmony really puts this song over the top.
Dierks Bentley has always been a risk taker. His bluegrass album Up On The Ridge remains one of my all time favorite albums. Now, with the death of his father weighing heavy on his mind, Dierks is preparing an album that he says is deeper and more emotional than anything he has ever done. I cannot wait to hear it. “Bourbon in Kentucky” is a big hit and I hope Riser is just as good!
Dierks singing "Bourbon In Kentucky" at the Grand Ole Opry with Kacey Musgraves