Dierks Bentley’s High of Choice

Radio Still Feels Like "Some Kinda Drug"

There’s a line in one of my favorite Dierks Bentley songs that talks about the feeling he gets when he hears his songs on the radio.

“I remember hearin’ my song on the radio/The first time it felt like some kinda drug.”

So when Bentley was in Chicago on Friday (June 19), I asked him if it still felt that way with each new single, now a dozen years after his first.

“That song — ‘Damn These Dreams’ — is my kids’ favorite song,” he told me. “And, yes, it still feels like a high. It’s the best high in the world. And I haven’t tried that many highs, but I can’t imagine anything being better than that.”

He admitted the first thing he does when his song, like his new single “Riser,” comes on the radio in his truck is check and make sure it really is on the radio.

“The first thing I do is check to see if it’s just a CD,” he said. “Then when I realize, ‘This is FM,’ I’m like, ‘OK, cool.’ Then I crank it up. Because I’m excited to hear it, but I’m also listening for things in my voice.”

The other big high he gets is playing those songs for his fans, like he was doing that night at Chicago’s first Windy City LakeShake festival.

“To walk onstage is a drug — every night. I walk out, and it just hits me,” Bentley admitted. “I’m completely consumed by it. It’s that moment that the whole day revolves around.”