OFFSTAGE: Dierks Bentley Remembers His First No. 1

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

It was almost nine years ago, but Dierks Bentley remembers well the first time he got word that his song had hit the No. 1 spot on the charts. He remembers the date (Sept. 27, 2003) and the place (a club in Dallas). And, obviously, he remembers the song (“What Was I Thinkin’” ). He told Billboard he even remembers writing it. “It feels like yesterday that I was writing ‘What Was I Thinkin” in the Sony Tree Publishing firehouse. We used to write songs in this old converted firehouse,” he said. And when he thinks about writing and recording new songs, Bentley likes to have range, and he likes to have songs that will sound just right when he does them live. “‘Home’ was a lot different than ’5-1-5-0,’ but for me, it’s all about songs that take you on a journey. Certainly, I’m always thinking about the live show in the back of my head,” he said. “I want to have material that encompasses a lot of ground — from partying and blowing off some steam and forgetting about our worries for a little while to a song like ‘Home’ that talks about the founding of this country and all our triumphs.”

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