Fifth anniversary of the career-defining album with first-ever vinyl release
Seven albums into his career, Riser was a defining album for 14-time GRAMMY nominated country singer/songwriter, restauranteur and philanthropist Dierks Bentley as its effortless blend of down-home party music and heartfelt, introspective ballads resulted in one of the most personal of his career, garnering rave reviews, critical accolades and chart-topping success.
To commemorate the fifth anniversary of Bentley’s critically acclaimed seventh album, Riser, Capitol Nashville/UMe will release it on vinyl for the first time on January 31st. The record will be available on standard black vinyl as well as on limited edition translucent orange vinyl, which will be exclusively available via uDiscover and UMG Nashville’s web stores.
“I named the album Riser because the lyrics in that song perfectly articulate who I want to be, who I try to be,” Bentley explained when the album was released in February 2014. “There’s a lot of really intense material on this record, but there’s also a lighter side that is equally important in telling the story of the last two years of my life.” When I first started writing for this album, I was in a place of grief over the loss of my dad, but over the course of the next 18 months, my wife and I had our son Knox, and I ended in a place of real joy and gratefulness. Both sides of that coin are what country music has always been about, and I hope that my fans can feel how much of myself I put into this project. It’s all out on the table, for sure.”
Embraced by Bentley’s fans as well as country radio, Riser topped the Billboard Country Albums chart and marked his fifth career debut in the top spot on the strength of three No. 1 country singles – “I Hold On,” “Say You Do” and the platinum-selling “Drunk On A Plane,” which became his 18th career single to peak in the top 10 on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs and Country Airplay chart. Produced by Ross Copperman and Arturo Buenahora, Riser, which was also Bentley’s seventh top 10 album on the Billboard 200, debuting at No. 6, was nominated for a GRAMMY for Best Country Album.
Accepting change – and growing from it – is a key theme in Riser, and it is reflected by the tone of the album, which demonstrated a new artistic depth and an extra level of intensity for Bentley. Evolving from track to track, the 12 song album exudes a range of emotions and blends a contemporary sound with Bentley’s obvious love for traditional country music. Riser features six songs co-written by Bentley including the No. 1 hits “I Hold On,” which displays some of the soaring guitar work that has drawn comparisons to U2, and “Drunk On A Plane,” an up-tempo song with an underlying lonesomeness about a guy determined to enjoy his Mexican honeymoon by himself after getting left at the altar.
Opening with “Bourbon In Kentucky,” featuring backing vocals from Kacey Musgraves, the album is loaded with highlights including “Say You Do,” “Damn These Dreams,” “Hurt Somebody,” with backing vocals by Chris Stapleton, and the powerful title track “Riser,” which has become one of Bentley’s signature songs, a fixture at his live shows and the name of his foundation which focuses on the needs of children and families. The song about overcoming life’s obstacles came to him following the death of his father and birth of his son and became the cornerstone of the record. It was accompanied by a poignant video inspired by a 60 Minutes episode and tells the real-life story of Amy Thomas who was forced to live out of her car with her children after their house was foreclosed on. Throughout the starkly light black and white video, Bentley sings the chorus of strength and resilience: “I’m a riser/I’m a get up off the ground, don’t run and hider/Hey pushin’ comes to shovin’/Baby I’m a fighter/When darkness comes to town, I’m a lighter/A get out aliver, of the fire/survivor.
Riser was met with rave reviews from the press with Country Weekly’s “A” review proclaiming that Bentley “revitalizes country music on his greatest album yet.” USA Today remarked in their perfect four-star review that “Bentley bares his soul in meditations on love and loss, death and rebirth.” Associated Press praised the album’s “chiming guitars and slow-boiling melodies” for adding “a simmering passion to Bentley’s distinctive vocal and writing style” and for arrangements which “mix atmospheric touches with steady rhythms that percolate and at times explode into fist-pumping anthems.”
1. Bourbon In Kentucky
2. Say You Do
3. I Hold On
4. Pretty Girls
5. Here On Earth
6. Drunk On A Plane
3. Sounds Of Summer
4. Damn These Dreams
5. Back Porch
6. Hurt Somebody
Author: Buddy Iahn
Buddy Iahn founded The Music Universe when he decided to juxtapose his love of web design and music. As a lifelong drummer, he decided to take a hiatus from playing music to report it. The website began as a fun project in 2013 to one of the top independent news sites.