Even though Dierks Bentley’s new album takes its title, Black, from his wife Cassidy’s maiden name, the “Somewhere on a Beach” singer ended up with no less than five other women on the record. He recalls it all started quite accidentally with a mysterious voice on a demo.
“You know, it wasn’t a conscious decision to have that many women on the record. If I’d have been smart enough, I would’ve thought about that to begin with,” he jokes. “It happened really organically with a song called ‘I’ll Be the Moon.’ I loved that song and I loved the female voice on that song, and I wanted to get her on the record — whoever she was. And it turns out it was Maren Morris.”
Dierks eventually changed the song slightly so he could duet with the “My Church” newcomer.
“I should’ve asked permission, but I just tweaked the second verse, so she could actually be more than just background vocals, so she could actually come in and take a verse and be more of the conversation and really make the song a dialogue. She was awesome. She did it, in my mind just elevated the song and made it so much more interesting, and it was already one of my favorite songs.”
From there, the Arizona native asked songwriters Natalie Hemby, Jessi Alexander and Hillary Lindsey to contribute background vocals to the tracks they’d written — but that wound up not being enough.
“You know [with] the record really taking [on] this whole relationship kinda theme, it really just ended up kinda organically working itself out. But then once I realized I had this thing going on, I kinda cranked Jessi’s and Hillary’s and Natalie’s voice up in the mix and made it more of a featured part of the track.”
The album’s remaining prominent female voice is mainstream hitmaker Elle King, who’s featured on Dierks’ new single, “Different for Girls.” Black is new in stores and online today.
Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.