After the stellar "Bourbon in Kentucky" stalled on country charts, Dierks Bentley has decided to release a second single off his upcoming album Riser. "I Hold On" is the next song from an album that Dierks claims is emotional and meaningful to him. The first single was a heck of a sad song, while this one has a much brighter message. The results are similar, though. Dierks knows how to blend country with heart and soul with the modern sounds of today to create some great, memorable tunes.
This song focuses on some of the older, worn down items in Dierks' life, such as his old truck and beat up guitar. He drove the truck to Tennessee to chase his dreams with his father, and now that his father passed, he hold on to that truck to remember him by. I've seen many pictures and comments about Dierks' truck "Big White" during his career, and I know this song is true word for word. That's the kind of stuff that makes country music great. Songs about trucks are just fine when they make a real emotional connection like this. Especially when they hit on your own personal story. My father had a life changing brain injury last year. Although he is still with us, thank God, he is not the same. While I'm thankful to still have him in any capacity, when I drive my truck that he worked on for me and helped me with so much, it makes me remember the old times with him and cheers me up. That truck may be on blocks in my backyard someday, but it will never be owned by anyone else as long as I'm alive. When a song has the emotional connection like that, there isn't another feeling in the world like it. That is what country music is all about. It's life in song form. That first verse is my life in song form, and it does a really good job of tugging at the heart strings.
The song continues to talk about the things Dierks hold on to, including his old guitar from the early days of honkytonking and living off tip jars in Nashville, the love of his wife (who is his high school sweetheart), and his faith and freedom. Dierks blends all these emotions into one, over a nice melody that is modern and fresh, but still sounds distinctively country. Dierks has a sound to his music that makes it immediately identifiable as his, which is a tough trait to nail down as an artist. As always, Dierks' gravelly voice sounds fantastic on this song, as it fits perfectly into his range of never over-singing, but keeping high energy at all times.
This has the potential to be a big song in Dierks' impressive career. It also has a chance of flopping, as he is lacking radio momentum right now after "Bourbon In Kentucky", and there are no beer cans and cutoffs in this song. Dierks is always one to play both sides of the fence, releasing forgettable but catchy frat boy anthems like "Am I The Only One" and "Sideways", and following it up with a well written gem of a country single like "Home", "Settle For A Slowdown", or the fun "What Was I Thinkin?". He even pays tribute to his roots by cutting bluegrass songs on his albums, and even recording one of my favorite albums in my collection, the bluegrass inspired Up On The Ridge. Dierks can truly do it all, and is a fantastic ambassador to country music for the new or casual fan. With "I Hold On", Dierks continues to impress and make great relevant country music with heart and passion. I'm excited as can be to hear the rest of Riser. That's keepin' it country, Dierks!
"I Hold On" Lyric Video