OFFSTAGE: Dierks Bentley Chills on New Year’s Day

(CMT Offstage keeps a 24/7 watch on everything that’s happening with country music artists behind the scenes and out of the spotlight.)

“This helps out your bluegrass singing immensely,” Dierks Bentley yells as he’s doing his annual jump into Percy Priest Lake on 1/1/11 (at 1:11 p.m). He’s not clear on how it helps. But the complicated obstacle course he created — a slow march into the lake, doing a cannonball off his 16-year-old pickup truck and a slow march out of the lake — would certainly build character. He told me that his band wimped out on the lake jump this year and promised, “They will pay on spring tour. They are getting in a pond, lake, trough, etc.” The video is the pilot episode of what Bentley called Big White Webisodes (named for that old pickup truck) on dierks.com. He also shared that all he did in November and December was write songs, so I guess we’ll find out pretty soon what that cold, cold lake did for his bluegrass voice.

Alison makes her living loving country music. She's based in Chicago, but she's always leaving her heart in Nashville.