Did Dierks Bentley make his new music in Telluride just because it’s Telluride? Or just because it’s not Nashville?
It sounds like, a little bit of both.
When Bentley invited reporters into his new Nashville bar/eatery/venue Whiskey Row, he answered questions about why he took songwriters out to the Colorado ski town to write for his next album The Mountain. And more importantly, why he went back there three months later to actually record the music there.
“It was just kind of getting us all in the vibe,” Bentley said of the first trip — kind of a songwriter’s retreat — when he and his squad took hikes, drank coffee, watched sunsets and wrote songs.
“This place we were writing had boxes holding speakers up, and a trash can for the computer and no furniture,” he said. So when one of the writers suggested they come back to Telluride to record the record because it would be “so dope,” Bentley wasn’t so sure. “Like what? We’d hang mics to the ceiling tiles?”
But after a while, the idea started sinking in and actually sounded kind of feasible, Bentley said. “It became like, ’Maybe we could come back here,'” he recalled. “There was a studio outside of town that ran off solar power and had a crazy guy that ran it. So we went back out there three months later and did it. Just trying to do something different.”
And while Bentley says this was the first time he’d made a country record outside of Nashville, it may not be his last. Because he discovered that being out of town — away from the commitments and expectations of his day-to-day life — was really helpful to him.
“It’s hard here. Because 2:30 rolls around, and I start thinking about school. ’This song’s not going well, and I could be hanging out with Knox. See ya,'” he said of his thought process when he is in Nashville. “Being (in Telluride) forces you to commit all the way. We just live and breathe it.
“It all comes down to the songs,” he said. “If you have great songs, you can go record them anywhere.”