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.
“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.