(CMT Offstage keeps a 24/7 watch on everything that’s happening with country music artists behind the scenes and out of the spotlight.)
In some genres, duets probably come about from a have-your-people-call-my-people way of making music. But that’s not the case in country, especially not for Dierks Bentley. He told Billboard magazine that his duet with Little Big Town‘s “When You Gonna Come Around,” a track from upcoming album, Home, came to be following their record label’s CMA Awards after-party. “I love her singing, love that band. They’re so talented. She said she’d love to do it, so the next day, I sent her the song, and two days after that, she was in the studio,” Bentley said, adding that the two had good chemistry in the studio. His other female collaborator on the album? His daughter Evie, whose 3-year-old vocals are featured on “Thinking of You.” Bentley’s album will be released on Feb. 7, but on Feb. 2, he will play the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville to celebrate the new music. “I’d walk by the building at 3 o’clock in the morning and rub my hand along the bricks in the back alley. That building means a lot to me. All I thought about was all the people who used to run back and forth between the Ryman and Tootsie’s. I think of all the history that has been a part of that place. It really does mean something,” Bentley said.