Dierks Bentley, Jim Beavers Take Their Bows for “Sideways”

Songwriters' Supporters Swelter as They Celebrate

The Sony/ATV Music Publishing parking lot was broiling under the relentless Nashville sun, but singer-songwriter Dierks Bentley brushed aside all complaints about the heat.

“My band sweats a lot more than we’re sweating right now,” he told the crowd gathered Monday afternoon (Aug. 10) to help him celebrate “Sideways,” his seventh No. 1 single. “So shut up about the heat. This is what real folks do.”

Sharing the celestial spotlight with Bentley was “Sideways” co-writer, Jim Beavers and his older brother, Brett Beavers, who is Bentley’s co-producer.

Decked out with beer tents, beanbag tosses and a hotdog cart, the parking lot was set up like a tailgate party.

Troy Tomlinson, president and CEO of Sony/ATV, served as master of ceremonies. Addressing the crowd from the bed of Bentley’s well-worn Chevy pickup truck (called “Big White”), Tomlinson noted this was Jim Beavers’ third No. 1 within the past year and a-half and that Bentley had celebrated his first No. 1, “What Was I Thinkin’,” six years earlier on this same parking lot.

Beavers was in an understandably good-humored mood. He noted the aim of the party was to simulate what it looks like outside a typical Dierks Bentley concert, “including the empty parking spaces.”

(Bentley gave as good as he got, remarking later, “I don’t have to cut other people down to feel good about myself.”)

“We knew [’Sideways’] was a hit when we cut it,” said Brett Beavers. “It was the first song we cut that day.”

Mike Dungan, president and CEO of Bentley’s label, Capitol Records Nashville, presented awards to the two songwriters and took his own swipe at the oppressive temperature.

“We shouldn’t put out any good records in March [when ’Sideways’ was released],” he said, “because you’ll have No. 1 parties in August — and that sucks.”

By the time all the awards were dispensed and all the speeches made, there were 14 people wedged into the bed of Bentley’s truck. With that part of the business over with, he urged the sun-baked celebrants, “Let’s get some music going. Let’s drink some beer.”

And they did both.

View photos from Dierks Bentley’s No. 1 party.
Edward Morris is a veteran of country music journalism. He lives in Nashville, Tennessee, and is a frequent contributor to CMT.com.