Dierks Bentley Describes “Songwriter Artist Fantasy Camp” Experience With HARDY & BRELAND

HARDY, Dierks Bentley, BRELAND; Photo Courtesy of Instagram

Dierks Bentley has added his 21st career number one to his resume, this time with collaborators HARDY and BRELAND, with the laid-back jam “Beers On Me.”

During an interview with Music Mayhem and several other media outlets during their number one celebration, the guys revealed the story behind the song, how it feels to have a number one hit during this point in their careers, and what they’ve learned from each other through this collaboration.

“Beers On Me” was co-written by Dierks Bentley, Ross Copperman, Luke Dick, Ashley Gorley, and HARDY during a trip to Colorado, with an additional verse written by BRELAND when Bentley decided to add him to the track.

Bentley described their experience in Colorado as a writing marathon, writing 15 songs in three days. They had taken a break to watch the NCAA national championship football game when co-writer Ashley Gorley spoke up that he wanted to write one more song. Bentley joked, “You wonder why he’s so successful, why he has 59 number ones.”

“We were all on a drinking break when we wrote ‘Beers On Me,’ which was kind of wild,” shared HARDY. “So we had the fridge full of non-alcoholic beer… which I drank a lot of them. I was trying to really feel that placebo effect,” he laughed.

Bentley took the song back to Nashville to record it in the studio. In the middle of a break during the session, he came across an article about BRELAND in the Nashville Scene magazine. “I read this article on him and I just felt the call,” said Bentley. “I was like, I need to call this guy and see if he’ll come be on the song I was actually working on at the time, which was ‘Beers On Me.’ So that is a whole other weird, crazy universe, feeling the call and just following it kind of experience.”

Reflecting on the song, BRELAND said, “There’s something about just a simple song with a simple melody, especially with people being back outside and being able to get back with some of their old friends and do all the things that help us communicate and relate to one another. ‘Beers On Me’ is perfect for a world that’s moving toward post-pandemic life.”

That simplicity led Bentley, BRELAND, and HARDY to a number one hit. It’s the first number one song for BRELAND, who is grateful for Bentley’s generosity. “I moved to town a little over a year and a half ago and I didn’t really know anybody. So for all of this, that happened in that amount of time, I know is something that doesn’t happen really ever.” He added, “Really grateful to be able to be a part of this with a bunch of guys that I respect… they all bring something really dope to this song. And I think what’s really cool about this song is that each artist on it is bringing a different energy and represents a different side of country music right now. I think for that to all be represented on one song is what people were responding to and why it’s been such a success. So I’m incredibly grateful for the opportunity and hopefully it’s the first of many.”

This is HARDY’s second number one song as an artist, which he doesn’t take for granted. “Anytime you get to ring the bell is a blessing… It’s always really cool to say that you have or were a part of a number one song… And it’s just a little bit cooler or a lot cooler than a number two song or a number five song or number seven, you know?” HARDY admitted that he’ll have to change part of his live show now. “I have this bit when I play live, after ‘One Beer,’ I say ‘And that’s my only number one song as an artist. And thank you for that.’ So thanks to these guys, I’m gonna have to figure out something else to say at the end of the song now,” he laughed.

Bentley reflected on the journey of the song, noting how special it was, even if it hadn’t reached the top of the charts. “It’s a pretty special song… the way it came about…at the beginning of this, the five of us back here took a trip out to Colorado and wrote a bunch of songs.” He added, “There’s something really special about the whole way that it was written, the road trip it took and then to come back here. And then of course BRELAND’s involvement… It’s been a cool journey all the way through and definitely a special one, whether it’s number one or not, but it definitely makes it better that it is.”

The collaboration also gave the guys an opportunity to learn from each other. As the artist in the earliest stage of his career, BRELAND admires Bentley’s approach to his personal and professional life. “How he balances family and work is something that aspire to do, seeing how hard he has built his fan base and the energy that he puts in at every single show is incredible to watch,” said BRELAND. “They both do such great work. And as a new artist, I’m always looking for opportunities to learn and hopefully will be in a position like they are to be able to pass some of that institutional knowledge down to the next group of artists. And I feel like I’ve learned a lot from both of them, even just in watching them.”

HARDY observed how the three artists were able to bring their unique gifts to the project in a special way. “One big thing that I did notice is learning how everybody can sort of contribute their own thing on one song… I just think that’s really cool that the three of us have something different to offer.”

As Bentley looked at the group of people surrounding him, he said “I learned the most from this group… This is like songwriter artist fantasy camp for me.”

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