ASCAP and BMI, the performance rights organizations, took over a downtown Nashville nightclub Friday afternoon (March 6) to honor Dierks Bentley and the co-writers of his sixth and latest No. 1 hit, "Feel That Fire."
Photo Credit: Brian Tipton
The song's other writers are Brett Warren, Brad Warren and Brett Beavers. Beavers is also Bentley's co-producer.
Among the overflow throng of celebrants were Faith Hill and Tim McGraw, whose Stylesonic company is one of the song's publishers.
It was Bentley's first day in town since he embarked on his concert tour Jan. 28. "I'm actually excited to be home," he told reporters before the party started. He said he was particularly happy to be reunited with his baby daughter. She reminds him, he explained, that "there's a whole other universe out there, and I'm not the center of it."
Bentley was clearly in a festive mood when he took the stage to greet guests about an hour into the party. For a moment, he sang along with his own song that was playing over the speakers. Then he got down to the business of singling out some people who have been important in his career.
"The Warren Brothers [Brett and Brad] are here for a reason," he assured the crowed. "They're not crashing the party or trying to find free beer."
He said the first tour bus he was ever on was the Warren Brothers'. "They're a breath of fresh air in this town."
Brett Warren, who stood alongside the other writers behind Bentley, moved to the microphone to recall some of the singer's rowdy ways. "[One time] he woke up in a rental car in a place he didn't know with a cracked rib and a chipped tooth. The next night he got so drunk he called Joe Galante [head of the record label the Warrens were signed to] to insist he release a Warren Brothers single."
An ASCAP representative presented Bentley a guitar and a plaque for his latest achievement.
In turn, Bentley proffered plaques for Connie Bradley, chief of ASCAP's Nashville division, and Pat Rolfe, ASCAP vice president. Rolfe was there to accept her award, Bradley was not. "Connie's probably hanging out with Kenny [Chesney] somewhere," Bentley smirked.
BMI's Jody Williams gave Beavers a guitar and a trophy to mark his sixth No. 1 single. He also pointed out that Beavers had already won nine BMI awards for his songwriting successes.
Hill and McGraw came to the stage to accept a publisher award for the Warren Brothers' part in writing "Feel That Fire." Both took affectionate jabs at the brothers, who, despite repeated attempts, have never scored a major hit as recording artists.
"It was a thrill to produce an album on these guys that never got heard," said McGraw.
Hill confessed her amazement at all the problems the brothers' wives have had to cope with. "Woooo," she shouted with her arm in the air. "Here's to the wives in the room. "
View photos from the No. 1 party.