Backstage with Dierks Bentley

April 7, 2008 | By | Comments (9)

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Dierks Bentley, dubbed the "hardest working man in country music" for the number of live shows he performs each year, stopped in Birmingham, Alabama, this past weekend as part of his "Throttle Wide Open" tour.  Before the show, I got a chance to spend a little time with the man himself.

In a nondescript backstage room, a small group of (mostly girl) fans cluster under the fluorescent lights and wait for Dierks to arrive. You can sense the nervous anticipation. But when he strides into the room, he immediately puts everyone at ease, as he laughs and says "Hey, why don’t you come a little closer?"—a joking reference to one of his biggest hits.

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Watching him in action, it’s easy to see why he’s got such a strong fan following (good looks aside). He takes the time to talk to each person individually, take pictures, sign autographs. But most impressive–he remembers names. This wasn’t the first time many of these fans had gotten a chance to meet him. I’ve even met him a handful of times myself (not only is he hard-working, he’s amazingly accessible). He calls people by name, remembers where he last saw them, and even inquires about things they had previously told him about their lives.

Once all the photos and autographs are out of the way, he pulls the group together to chat about any and everything they throw at him. Like, explaining the scratches on his arms that he got from chasing his dog, George, through the brush at his house outside Nashville. Or recalling when he played the Neshoba County Fair in Philadelphia, Mississippi, where people clamor to get seats for the concert by running across a dirt racetrack to set up lawn chairs in front of the stage. "Dude, that chair race is really something."

With such an affable nature, it’s easy to walk away from meeting him thinking you’ve got a new friend. He’s a dude’s dude. The kind of guy you want to just hang out with at a backyard cookout or take on your next trip to the lake. And he’s so gracious, you get the feeling that if he wasn’t on the road so much, he might actually take you up on the invitation.

COMMENTS

  1. Patrice

    You GO girl.

    April 10, 2008 at 6:26 pm
  2. Jennifer’s Ti Ti

    Jen, I love country music, but just don’t know the newer ones names but I do remember songs (just not who wrote or sings them). Now I remember those from my younger day, but I’ll listen if it’s country. Mississippi has some great customs that are new to the rest of the country. We really enjoy life and I do so enjoy your writings.
    Jennifer’s Ti Ti
    No one else has a “Ti Ti”!!

    April 10, 2008 at 5:04 pm
  3. Kimbearley

    Wow, what an article! It is so refreshing to know that he really cares about his fans…especially the ones he remembers almost everything about them. Now I will be quite possibly a fan knowing how real he is (looks aside of course!)

    April 8, 2008 at 12:12 pm
  4. Tanner

    Considering his accessibility and down-to-earth nature, could you reason that Dierks Bentley is also the poor man’s Dierks Bentley?

    April 8, 2008 at 3:18 am
  5. Randolph

    Invite him to Charleston if you want to, and we’ll fry up some local soft shell crabs in some bacon grease from my friend Allan Benton.

    April 7, 2008 at 9:13 pm
  6. Amanda

    Love the article, and I was at this show, but not the m&g! The part about the Neshoba Co. Fair in Mississippi, I’m pretty sure who mentioned that, and I was there at that too! That chair race was really something else I hadn’t experience til then. The Bham show was my 9th time seeing him since 2004, and his stage presence, music, and how great he is to the fans is why I keep supporting him. I and about 15 other fan club members stayed out holding umbrellas until Dierks finally came out at 1am! ..It’s always worth it!

    April 7, 2008 at 6:17 pm
  7. db fan

    great dierks story – i’ve seen him myself a few times and to see a show is to love dierks bentley. glad to know he is as nice in real life as his is onstage. keep up the travel – especially with such good looking boys.

    April 7, 2008 at 4:31 pm
  8. Claire

    You Rock Jennifer!!!!…can’t believe you got to go backstage.

    April 7, 2008 at 4:00 pm
  9. Jeremy

    If you keep letting me know what a great guy he is, you might actually get me to listen to an album – might. But if you were to throw in some pork products and a cold beverage it would definitely improve your chances.

    April 7, 2008 at 1:31 pm

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