(The GreenRoom) Last week, Multi-Platinum singer/songwriter Dierks Bentley continued to prove why he is a "Country music staple," (Esquire) wrapping the Gravel & Gold Tour with two nights at the iconic Red Rocks Amphitheater in Morrison, CO. The tour follows his acclaimed tenth studio album of the same name, released in February, that Rolling Stone hailed for its "mix that spans contemporary country, classic sounds, bluegrass, and Southern rock."
On night one of Red Rocks-Tuesday, September 5th-Bentley welcomed special guests Harper O'Neill, The Red Clay Strays, and Ashley McBryde. Bentley invited Red Clay Strays' vocalists Brandon Coleman and Drew Nix back to the stage for a special cover of Waylon Jennings' "Lonesome, On'ry and Mean." McBryde also made a second appearance, performing their honky-tonk duet "Cowboy Boots." Night two (Wednesday, Sept. 6) saw opening performances from Tanner Usrey, Kaitlin Butts, and Colorado mainstays The Infamous Stringdusters, who later joined Bentley for a rendition of bluegrass standard "Rovin' Gambler." During both nights, Bentley played a discography mix of old and new, including fan favorites from Gravel & Gold, "Gold," "Something Real," and the ever-fitting "Sun Sets in Colorado."
"I'm always trying to create a rollercoaster that I get to ride on, not just the fans. The second I walk on stage, I don't want to have to work anymore. I want to have fun. And that's why I spend months rehearsing this show over and over and over and over and over and over," Bentley recently told CMT. "I don't have to rehearse anymore. I step on the escalator, and it's going to take me exactly where I want to go-the fans. And this one, I think, does it better than ever."
Since kicking off in June, the Gravel & Gold Tour has traveled to notable venues across the country and featured a multitude of special guests including Jordan Davis, Elle King, Tracy Lawrence, Tyler Braden, Caylee Hammack, Kameron Marlowe, Caitlyn Smith, Hailey Whitters, The Cadillac Three, Molly Tuttle & Golden Highway, Shane Smith & The Saints and Bentley's own Hot Country Knights.
"This night will undoubtedly linger in the collective memory of San Diego music enthusiasts, serving as a reminder of the unifying power of music and the artistry that defines the country genre." - Loud Hailer Magazine on the August 18th show in Chula Vista, CA
"It's clear that Bentley isn't just an award-winning singer and songwriter but also a natural entertainer. The effort to produce a pure character on stage has been unmatched by any show this year. His one-of-a-kind show has an encore that will have you trying to catch your breath from singing and laughing along." - Nippertown on the July 28th show in Bethel, NY
"Whether he serenaded us with soulful ballads like 'Say You Do' or had us dancing to the beats of party anthems like '5-1-5-0,' he kept us on our toes, making the entire performance an unforgettable experience...I used to say I wasn't a country fan anymore, but this concert may have me jumping back on the bandwagon." - Folio Weekly on the July 13th show in Jacksonville, FL
Gravel & Gold speaks to how time has flown in Bentley's unique, 21st-century career. He landed his first publishing deal in 2001 and released his debut album in 2003, producing an instant No. One single. The years since have revealed a rare consistency that's fueled longevity - eight more albums that reached the top of the Country sales charts, resulting in 21 number one songs, eight billion streams, three CMA Awards, 14 GRAMMY® nominations and membership into the Grand Ole Opry. Trendy sounds have ebbed and flowed around him over these two decades, but Bentley "has been a mainstay on the country charts since releasing his debut single 'What Was I Thinkin' nearly 20 years ago" (Forbes.) He also has created professional endeavors outside of music with his Flag & Anthem lifestyle collection Desert Son, along with his four "Dierks Bentley's Whiskey Row" locations.