Phoenix born Dierks Bentley is one of the biggest stars in Nashville. But despite the fame and fortune, he's recently weathered more than his fair share of adversity.
While working on his latest album Dierks’ life was turned upside down.
"Two events I couldn't have foreseen happening was my Dad passing away at the beginning of the process, and my son Knox being born at the end of the process,” Bentley said. “Throughout it all, it's been a learning process for me."
A big part of that learning process, especially where his music is concerned, started with his father, Leon. He handed Dierks an electric guitar when he was just 13.
He also encouraged Dierks to take the plunge into country music. In the mid 1990s they made a life changing road trip in an old pickup truck, driving from Phoenix all the way to Nashville.
Bentley still owns that pickup. He says it's something that keeps him grounded and reminds him where he came from.
Another thing that keeps Bentley grounded, is his wife, Cassidy Black.
They first met in the 1980s when they were students at Ingleside Middle School in Phoenix. They dated on and off, before going their separate ways. They kept in touch and finally reunited, tying the knot in 2005.
Bentley now cherishes his life at home, especially his role as dad.
When his own father died in 2012 at the age of 88, Bentley was suddenly thrown for a loop. But that heartbreak would soon be tempered when Dierks learned shortly after his father’s passing a third child was on the way.
The rollercoaster of emotions gave Bentley pause to reflect, not only about his life, but his approach to music as well.
His new album, “Riser,” is the result.
“You can't even really set out with an idea about what the albums going to be,“ Bentley said. “You might have an initial idea, but then life happens and it changes itself."
"I hope the fans, when they listen to the record, I hope they hear their involvement, because they really were the reason I was able to get from one spot to the other and find that happiness and joy who is who I really am."
Bentley’s new album went on sale February 25.
He’s scheduled to play a concert in the Valley’s Ak-Chin Pavilion Saturday, July 26.