Bourbon in Kentucky

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Songfacts®:

  • Dierks Bentley's Riser album was written and recorded in the year following his father's death. The first single from the set explores the dark internal emotions of loss and disconnection helped by haunting backing vocals from country songstress Kacey Musgraves. "I've never heard anything like 'Bourbon' before," said Bentley. "I really love the angst of it. I've been there before where you can't drink your way through a heartache or a broken heart. There's such an aggressive lonesomeness in this song."
  • Bentley thought the song was a perfect introduction to his new album. "'Bourbon' came around and it kinda has this darkness to it and this loneliness to it, but it kind of rocks, and Kacey Musgraves singing harmonies," he said. "And it just opens the door to a whole new dimension, and it just was different. I think when people hear that, they won't be able to pigeonhole the record and be like, 'Oh, I know exactly what he's doing here; what he's trying to do.' It's gonna be like, 'Wow! I really have no idea what is going on here. It's so different from what I've heard in the past.'"
  • The song was penned by the Canadian singer-songwriter Gordie Sampson with Hillary Lindsey and Ryan Tyndell. Bentley told Jam! Music that he considers Sampson to be a hot songsmith. "I try to listen to the songs that are getting pitched to me without seeing who the writers are so I don't get biased," he said. "When I see his name on something, I'm always excited 'cause he's just one of those 'It' writers."
  • This only reached #40 on the Country chart, and its commercial failure helped change the course of Riser. "It was too heavy. It was a little dark," said Bentley at a Q&A following the screening of his Dierks Bentley: Riser documentary. "We knew we were taking the chance, and it didn't work."

    The album launch was pushed back from the fall of 2013 to February 2014. Bentley said, "That ended up being a great thing. I ended up being able to inject that summertime, who I really am. I love to have a good time. The record was missing that. So much of that got injected into the record with songs 'Drunk on a Plane,' 'Sounds of Summer,' 'Pretty Girls.'"

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