Dierks Bentley on His Mountain Music

Creative Retreat Was Just a Gondola Ride Away

I feel like it’s 2002 all over again.

That was the year Tim McGraw left Nashville with his band to record music in the mountains of upstate New York. And now, Dierks Bentley has done the same thing in Colorado for The Mountain.

When Bentley played the Telluride Bluegrass Festival in the summer of 2017, he knew he’d be back. So when it came time to write for his ninth studio album, he recruited his songwriter friends Natalie Hemby, Luke Dick, Ross Copperman, Jon Randall, Jon Nite and Ashley Gorley to join him in the mountain town. And when it was time to record the music, again he set off for Telluride with musicians and producers and set up camp in a studio atop a mesa outside of town.

“Telluride just makes you want to reach for your guitar. We all went out there and got completely off the grid…out of our normal element and the grind that happens on Music Row and it was, from the very get-go, magic. We’d wake up every morning, grab a coffee, take the gondola up, watch the sun come up over the mountains, and by 8:30 we were writing,” Bentley said in a press release. “We just wrote non-stop.”

He compares the songs recorded in the mountains to the mountains we all face every day. “Looking back now,” he shared, “I think we were all searching for hope and optimism when we were writing this music.”

The Mountain is due for a release sometime in early 2018.

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