OFFSTAGE: Kristen Kelly Can Thank Dierks Bentley

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

There are so many paths into Nashville that it’s a wonder more people don’t get lost on their way into the music business. But newcomer Kristen Kelly found her way here from Texas, via Dierks Bentley. Sort of. She was one of the performers with her band Modern Day Drifters at his Miles & Music for Kids celebrity motorcycle ride in Forth Worth in 2010.

That’s when she met songwriter Paul Overstreet (“She Thinks My Tractor’s Sexy,” “Forever and Ever, Amen” and more). Kelly and Overstreet went on to craft some songs, and now she has a hit song on the radio with “Ex-Old Man” and an EP that she calls a “cohesive work of art that works” due out Oct. 30.

And on that EP are a few songs that might have you thinking Kelly has had her fair share of guy trouble. So CMT.com asked her if the tunes are a little autobiographical.

“You know, I believe it’s OK to say it hurts when it hurts, and I believe it’s OK to say life is great when it’s great,” she said. “You have to take the good with the bad and let life play out and roll with the punches. Take the highs when they come and run with those.”

And sometimes, she added, you just need a stiff drink.

Hear one of the upcoming EP’s new songs, “Drink Myself Out Of Love With You.”

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