Whenever a country artist makes a bold move, I always have a few questions.
Actually, make that about a thousand questions.
So on Thursday morning (Jan. 2) when Dierks Bentley’s band’s alter ego — Hot Country Knights, the self-declared best band in the history of world — shared that they’d signed a record deal, my curiosity was piqued.
Is this for real?
Will the band actually release an album?
Will their music sound like the 90s kind of music they lean into when they “open” for Bentley on tour?
Are their singles going to be similar to the covers they play from the artists they love? Like Alan Jackson, Mark Chesnutt, John Michael Montgomery, Sawyer Brown, Clay Walker, Joe Diffie and Garth Brooks. The band is very, very good at Brooks songs.
And Brooks & Dunn. Will they keep this kind of magic alive and well?
They’ve been at this thing for five years. Why sign with a label now?
Will frontman Doug Douglason become the official face of the band? Or will all the guys — Barry Van Ricky, Monte Montgomery, Trevor Travis, and Terry Dvoraczekynski — have a chance to shine?
How long do mullet, shag and permed wigs last?
Will their egos ever get the best of their alter-ego?
How will they change their live show now that they are a major-label act?
According to a press release about the record deal, the band promises to bring real ’90s country music back to a format that’s been drowning in male sensitivity, cashmere cardigan sweaters and programmed drum loops.
“Some artists out there tried to put the ‘O’ back in country, that was a thing for a while…. but what it’s really missing is the ‘T,’” Douglason (Dierks Bentley) said.
“Country music has Low-T right now…it could use a pick me up, if you know what I mean. Those record label people over at Universal finally realized that only the Knights could be up to a task this big and hard.”
HCK is set to open for Bentley during a two-night gig in Las Vegas on Feb. 14-15.