Dierks Bentley: Up On The Ridge

Album review
Dierks Bentley: Up On The Ridge

Dierks Bentley

Up On The Ridge

Label: Capitol Nashville
Media: CD
Genre: Rock/pop

Dierks Bentley warned that Up On The Ridge would be more bluegrass-inspired than hardcore bluegrass, and he wasn’t just bumpin’ his gums, as Dizzy Dean would say. A gritty, driving, rock ’n’ roll edge informs the all-acoustic uptempo workouts (witness the grinding title track), but the subdued moments are framed in spare, rustic, usually foreboding backwoods-style settings, as in “Fallin’ For You,” a love song as much about letting go as giving in, and the beautiful, Alison Krauss-enhanced romantic plea, “Draw Me a Map.” The bluegrass on board is a blend of traditional (why not, with the Del McCoury Band, fiddler Stuart Duncan, and dobro master Rob Ickes in the lineup?) and the progressive, the latter supplied in spectacular fashion by Chris Thile and the Punch Brothers via an atmospheric take on Dylan’s “Senor.” Ultimately this is a logical extension of the rootsy detours Bentley has been taking on his past couple of albums (and in onstage acoustic interludes), welcome but unsurprising to attentive fans. Sonically, the players on Up On the Ridge are miked hot when stepping out on always striking solos, whereas the ensemble ambiance is full, bracing, even explosive at times—big sound, for an album with a big heart. 

More Info

  • primary artist, Dierks Bentley
  • CD

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