"We are real excited to have Dierks Bentley come back to the Delaware State Fair for another great show," said Danny Aguilar, Delaware State Fair director of marketing and assistant general manager. "Our Facebook fans constantly asked for a return show and now we can make that possible. Dierks was last here when he opened up for Brad Paisley along with Eric Church."
Some of Bentley's best-known songs include "Sideways," "Come a Little Closer," "Free and Easy (Down the Road I Go)" and "What Was I Thinking."
Bentley has embraced musical diversity in his recording career as well, as his current album Home demonstrates. The project plunges him back into the country mainstream after a successful sojourn in bluegrass and roots music with the acclaimed and Grammy-nominated Up On The Ridge album. Moreover, working with some of Nashville's most innovative studio musicians, Home finds Dierks singing over some new sonic textures and, for the first time, interpreting a few songs that he didn't write himself.
Home's title track and second No. 1 song gives the mostly light-hearted album a vital, spiritual anchor. The song expresses pride and patriotism without sentimentality or illusions. It unflinchingly speaks of America's "scars" and her tensions while illuminating those as sources of strength. The writing session took place just four days after the shooting in Tucson, Ariz. (Dierks's home state), which took six lives and injured Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. That tragedy did not inspire the song by any means, but it did cast a shadow and influence Dierks and his co-writers, once some opening lines popped out that seemed to speak to the vitality of being an American in these challenging times.
"It's really hard to write a patriotic song," said Bentley. "But you want to. It's something I think about all the time. I love the history of country music and I love the history of our country."
The song impressed critics and earned a call from National Public Radio. Bentley was able to tell that audience that the aim was "to be inspiring and hopeful, but also address the realities of what's going on." Elsewhere on radio, country stations embraced the risky single, despite its departures from any flag-waving formula.