I won't go on at length about it because I've got a lot of crap above for you to read, but it would be crazy not to mention what a slamming good time the Up On The Ridge tour finale show was last night. Dierks Bentley been out for a month with the Travelin' McCourys, which is the Del McCoury Band, sans Del. These are guys Dierks has known and played with for years, and they are the among the absolute elite players in their very difficult genre. They were part of Bentley's original springboard in the music business, and this tour celebrates that marvelous confluence in the best possible way. From a record company strategery point of view, rolling out the tour before the release of the album, which drops June 8, wasn't perfect, but big deal. I am overjoyed that thousands of Dierks fans just saw and heard the real roots deal, coming from a guy who has cred in their world. It's one of two awesome confluences of bluegrass and celebrity right now, the other being Steve Martin's knockout banjo tour with the Steep Canyon Rangers.
Anyway, the Ryman show was a big deal for Dierks personally, and I think for the music we love.
I haven't sensed such a scale and quality to a night of bluegrass since the Dixie Chicks premiered their Home album and truly found their greatest selves as a band. Dierks with the McCourys, including Jason Carter on fiddle and Alan Bartram on bass, performed the new UOTR music as well as hits from his catalog, grassed up, with a touch of brush on snare drums and an amazing utility guy adding slide, steel, etc. Ronnie McCoury and Dierks blended beautifully. And then he started in with the guests. I shouldn't be surprised. It's the Ryman in the format Dierks always dreamed of. His mom came for the show. But as Jon Randall, the album's producer, and Del McCoury, and the Punch Brothers with Chris Thile all came out, it just kept adding to the energy of an ever-moving show. This is what Dierks loves most to play and it's where
Peter Cooper of the Tennessean sat next to us for a lot of last night and he has a significant story in the works. Looking forward to it. Music Row's David Ross has already reviewed the show HERE. He explains - to my surprise because few in the crowd knew it was him - that Dierks's dad had a medical incident of some kind and had to be taken to the hospital by ambulance. It seems Dierks was informed only after the show, so perhaps it wasn't too serious.