Normally, #1 parties are held on Music Row, near all the record labels and recording studios. But for this one, Dierks Bentley invited the music industry to one of his favorite hang-outs, Arnold’s Country Kitchen, a local diner where the food is home cooked, the tea is sweet and the pie is topped with meringue. No calorie counters here. Dierks explained the location this way: “We try to have fun, make it unique, make it special. This place, you get a home cooked meal, for years it was my second home. I go here to eat a lot, it’s like my family, plus it’s easier to listen to speeches after people eat. Everyone was quiet, too tired because of the food.” He pointed out a seat way in the back where legendary guitar player Chet Atkins sat every day.
The occasion for the party was the success of Dierks’ latest #1, “Home.” Dierks told the crowd he’s been closing his concerts with it, and it’s been going over big every night: “It’s one of those songs, you got a good one in your back pocket, walk on stage when you get to that one it’ll get the same reaction every night, a feeling of pride, unity, and the crowd goes crazy for it. It’s great to have it in the show, it goes to a third dimension we haven’t had before, I’m honored to be the guy singing it.”
Dierks noted he’s started the year out of town a lot, with an American tour, then a few weeks in Canada, a tour to Australia, and then back out on the west coast. That hasn’t left much time in Nashville. But on Saturday, he took his daughters to watch his wife run in the Music City Marathon. Then on Sunday, he drove down to Savannah to shoot the video for his latest single, “5-1-5-0.” And Monday he had the #1 party.
Those of us who attended the party saw Dierks’ famous truck, Big White parked in front of Arnolds, covered with a thick coat of mud. We asked Dierks to explain the new look: “It happened making the video for 5-1-5-0. We went to Georgia yesterday, outside Savannah, it was a chance to take the truck down there, shot the video, we had a great time, and at the end, I wanted to give my truck a shot, I got the truck in the mud, and it got stuck. They had to tow me out, my truck is loaded with mud, even on the inside, the dial on the radio is crusted over, I’m not worried about the outside, but my wife’s not gonna wanna ride in it until I get it clean.”
Dierks will be staying home for a few days, and that will give him a chance to attend the Stanley Cup Playoffs between the Nashville Predators and the Phoenix Coyotes. Since Dierks is from Phoenix, but now lives in Nashville, we asked him who he’s rooting for: “I’m a Preds fan, I go to a lot of games, but I’m from Phoenix, and I love the Coyotes too. I don’t want to be a politician, but I’m excited for both cities. I’m going to the game Wednesday night, hope no one sees what jersey I’m wearing, I love them both. Been to a lot of Preds game, excited for both cities.”
Dierks Bentley’s “Home” stay will be brief. The day after the hockey game, he heads back out on the road with his Country & Cold Cans tour for the rest of the summer.