OFFSTAGE: Dierks Bentley on Loving Jersey Girls

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

Could Dierks Bentley have a crush on Jersey Shore’s Snooki or JWoww? I don’t know that I’d go that far, but he does admit to loving Jersey girls during an interview with the The Press of Atlantic City newspaper. He also admits to being sent away to boarding school because he had troubles in his younger adolescence. And he says if he had not gone to that boarding school (the private college-prep Lawrenceville School), he wouldn’t have discovered country music. “I made some great friends — and had a love of Jersey girls — but country reminded me of home and Arizona,” he said. And we all know what happened next. That he moved to Nashville, worked at TNN: The Nashville Network and ultimately, got a record deal. But in this Q&A, Bentley talks openly about the kind of music he didn’t want to make back in the mid-’90s. “I wasn’t in love with the music coming out at the time. Everyone was trying to be Garth Brooks,” he said. “I love Garth Brooks, but it wasn’t my thing to wear a cowboy hat.” Bentley calls his next album, due out in August, “electric country with a lot of bass and drums.”

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