Dierks Bentley Leaves Nashville Behind on New Album 'The Mountain'

Robby Klein
Dierks Bentley photographed on June 23, 2016 at Bastion in Nashville. 

The country hit-maker was inspired by Telluride.

On Wednesday (Jan. 10) Dierks Bentley announced his new album, The Mountain. He cites playing the Telluride Bluegrass Festival last June as the main inspiration for the album, due out soon.

The Arizona-born Bentley told NPR, “I'm not from the south. I can't make records that draw upon certain southern ideas and lifestyles and nostalgic things... If it's a sound or an idea or a song, I need to find something that's gonna give me the inspiration to jump off of.”

That “something” was the festival, where he performed with a number of bluegrass artists, including Sam Bush and The Travelin’ McCourys, among many others.

He returned to the former mining town in Colorado with a team of songwriters to get “out of our normal element and the grind that happens on Music Row.” Bentley said the team were writing constantly, starting at 8:30 after watching the sun rise, until around 4 p.m., when they would gather on the deck to drink beers and play music together. Two months later, he returned to Telluride with his production team to record the album.

The singer-songwriter said that leaving Nashville helped him to express exactly what he envisioned the album to sound like. He told the writing team to “just go for a hike... walk around town, take in the vibe of this location. That's what I need you to make the record sound like.”

The album announcement includes details on a pre-order for fans, “that will unlock extra tracks, bonus videos, special merchandise and VIP experiences with Bentley on his 2018 tour,” according to a press release. Bentley also released a preview of the title track, which features a rousing, twangy guitars-and-fiddle solo.

Fans can expect strong western influences in sound and in the concept of the album itself. As Bentley puts it, there's "that big metaphor of a mountain, putting one step in front of the other and continuing to climb... Everyone's climbing this mountain. Everyone's trying to better themselves. Everyone's looking for a way to push forward and looking for that recharge... Looking back now, I think we were all searching for hope and optimism when we were writing this music."