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CMT Premiere: Dierks Bentley Reimagines Tom Petty's "American Girl"

Dierks Bentley was allowed to play Tom Petty’s Rickenbacker in the music video for "American Girl."

When Dierks Bentley shot the video for his new, reimagined version of Tom Petty’s “American Girl,” he did it strumming a piece of music history. Bentley played Petty’s Rickenbacker in the music video.

“Holding in my hands an instrument that carried that kind of musical history and significance for an American icon like Petty was really cool,” Bentley said. “You could almost feel the stories resonate from it as I played it.”

Bentley’s bluegrass-inspired cover of Petty’s “American Girl” is from “Petty Country: A Country Music Celebration of Tom Petty,” which is forthcoming from Big Machine Records/The Valory Music Co. in partnership with the Tom Petty Estate.

Petty wrote the song, and Jon Randall produced the track. Wes Edwards directed the video and Christen Pinkston produced it.

Bentley said he always loves it when a great cover of a song inspires him to revisit the original artist’s catalog of music. Since Petty has written some of the greatest songs of all time, he hopes his version of “American Girl” inspires fans to reconnect with the legend.

“Petty’s songs stand on their own,” Bentley said. “He was never about being flashy. His lyrics and delivery were a big part of what made his music so impactful. That’s the spirit we wanted to bring to this video, with my band and me just digging into the groove and having fun.”

“American Girl” makes Bentley want to get out and play it on tour.

“I can almost feel it on a summer night with fans on their feet singing along to every word,” he said.

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