Dierks Bentley Gives Nashville a Hot Country Knight

Famous Friends Join Him for '90s Classics and a Heck of a Party

There’s a teeny pounding in my head this morning, but who do I blame for this Southern Comfort-induced pain — Dierks Bentley or Douglas Douglason, his ‘90s-inspired alter ego who’s the lead singer of the burgeoning country supergroup Hot Country Knights?

Wednesday night (Feb. 25), Bentley, along with his real band and a few magical special guests, took the Stage, a club on Nashville’s Lower Broadway, by storm as the greatest cover band you’ve never seen.

Clad in the most amazing mullet, shag and permed wigs — and more “Mo” Betta button-ups and sleeveless tank tops you’ve ever seen — the gang performed a rousing set of the best country hits the ‘90s had to offer. It was all in character and all delivered with gusto and reckless abandon, y’all.

And I kid you not when I tell you it was the greatest thing I’ve ever seen in my Nashville life.

I’m talking hits like Alan Jackson’s “Chattahoochee,” Mark Chesnutt’s “Going Through the Big D,” John Michael Montgomery’s “Be My Baby Tonight,” Sawyer Brown’s “Some Girls Do” and Clay Walker’s “Dreaming With My Eyes Wide Open.”

Are y’all getting the visual? Are you, too, about to lose your ever-loving mind just thinking about it? I almost couldn’t deal with the rush of nostalgia.

It was like being transported back in time to the backseat of my mama’s Chevy Lumina when we’d ride to the Dairy Queen for a Dilly Bar after school, listening to Collin Raye or Pam Tillis on “Big” WUFF radio — 97.5 FM in Eastman, Georgia.

Standing there at the Stage, thinking about Mama and how much I miss the simplicity of life back then, I thought, “This is heavenly.”

And just went I thought Bentley — excuse me … Doug “Don’t-Call-Me-Doogles” Douglason — couldn’t deliver anything more epic, the special guests showed up and showed out.

Among the highlights:

Randy Houser in a curly wig and cowboy hat as Dallas Houston delivering Tracy Byrd’s “Watermelon Crawl.”

Lady Antebellum’s Charles Kelley in the most spot-on shag wig and aviators as — wait for it — Ronnie Buns singing Brooks & Dunn’s “My Maria.”

Miranda Lambert as Shelby Shelton absolutely nailing Shania Twain’s “Whose Bed Have Your Boots Been Under?”

Kip Moore rocking David Lee Murphy’s “Dust on the Bottle.”

The Brothers Osborne’s TJ Osborne (as Rusty Van Ricky, I do believe) and John Osborne (as Shelton Van Ricky) nailing Trace Adkins“Every Light in the House Is On.” (John actually played in the backing band for the Hot Country Knights.)

It was borderline too much fun, but as the guys sang last night, “What’s that mean?”

There truly is no such thing. And the evening proved it. So thank you, Doogles — excuse me … Dierks — for a trip down memory lane. And also the need for some chicken fried steak and a sloe gin fizz today to nurse my good time from last night. (A little Sammy Kershaw for you, buddy. See what I did there?)

Samantha is a country radio insider with a deep love for the music and its stars. She can often be found on a red carpet or at a late-night guitar pull.