Why Dierks Bentley Switched His Drink

There are probably a thousand different ways to write a drinking song. Especially the drowning-your-sorrows kind. And if you’re Dierks Bentley, you can even do those songs from two vastly different points of view.

Remember his “Bourbon in Kentucky” ? It was heavy. Too heavy, in fact.

In an interview with the Detroit Free Press , he talked about why that song, which featured Kacey Musgraves, didn’t do as well as his other heartbreakers.

“You have a lot of fun things happening at radio, and all of a sudden, you have this song that comes on. … Some radio programmers told me it literally stopped the station in its track,” Bentley said. “I get that, and I appreciate their honesty. I had some guys that were real honest and just said, ’Man, it’s a tough song for us to play. It’s heavy.’

“But it was real. I was going through some stuff there. That was a dark song that I just gravitated toward. We put it out there and mainly saw that it was going to be a struggle and a fight. So, yeah, we pulled it.”

That must’ve been a hard decision for Bentley, whose songs — downers or otherwise — are usually embraced by radio stations. However, he eventually reached a lighter mood.

“After ’Bourbon’ died and all of this time had passed by, I wasn’t really in that moment,” he said. “I wasn’t feeling that way anymore. I was feeling much more. My son had just been born. I felt good. So the record, instead of being so much about just a couple of certain moments in my life, really became a bigger picture of who I am over these last couple of years.”

That makes sense, especially if you listen to Bentley’s latest, “Drunk on a Plane.” Yes, it’s still a drown-your-sorrows song. But this one is more of a celebratory kiss-off song. And everyone’s drinking Coke and whiskey, so hearts are no longer heavy. And all the bourbon in Kentucky is no longer necessary.

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