Dierks Bentley: ‘Gravel & Gold’ – Album Review

Dierks Bentley’s new album, Gravel & Gold is out now, February 24th on all streaming platforms. Listen to the new album below.

On his tenth studio album, Gravel & Gold, Dierks Bentley is here to remind listeners why he has been one of country’s most consistent hitmakers for two decades. On the fourteen song, self-produced project, the gravel-voiced superstar shines brighter than he has in years, taking a journey through the banjo-infused, stomping country music that is purely Dierks.

Gravel & Gold is finally here. It has been four years in the making trying to perfect this project. Each song, each story is such a strong part of the gravel that led me to the gold of where we are now,” He reveals in a statement. “I am thankful for the highs and lows and can’t wait for you all to come on the journey with me.”

Bentley is immediately full throttle country on the album’s first track, “Same Ol’ Me,” proclaiming that he’s the same guy he’s always been, and it’s instantly apparent that that’s the case. In fact, he might just be better. Musically, Gravel & Gold is phenomenal, mixing traditional country instrumentation with hints of Southern rock and a bluegrass twang that has become one of Bentley’s secret weapons.

Another of Bentley’s greatest strengths is choosing duet partners who compliment him perfectly, as is the case on “Cowboy Boots.” On the immediate standout, he trades verses with the golden-voiced Ashley McBryde with an ode to everything that the famous footwear represents. “They got a reckless reputation that they always live up to,” The pair harmonize on the clever lyrics. “That’s why they call ’em cowboy boots.”

“Something Real” has hints of “I Hold On” in its role as a stadium-ready anthem that finds Bentley grappling with the shallow side of stardom, admitting that “Sometimes a crowd makes me lonely, Sometimes a shot just makes me sad.” Likewise, on “Sun Sets in Colorado” and “Still,” Bentley is introspective, enjoying life’s simpler things and places. On the former, he’s found himself at home, singing “My heart beats in Tennessee, but my sun sets in Colorado,” while “Still” has him finding peace in nature. “My head’s clear as the sky, Like the trees with no breeze, my heart is still,” He sings on the aural deep breath. “Where the world’s the way God made it still.”

Both “Gold” and “Heartbreak Drinking Tour” have hints of 90’s country, with “Gold” being another immediate standout. “Walking Each Other Home” is a clever take on humanity that can’t be missed, while “All the Right Places” has one of the most earwormy hooks on the album, as Bentley proclaims “My heart’s been broke in all the right places.”

“Beer at My Funeral” is an amusing take on death as the singer-songwriter wants his final hurrah to be a party. “They better have cold beer at my funeral // They better play good country music // When they lay me low,” He sings over smooth guitar riffs. “They better have cold beer at my funeral // If they don’t I ain’t gonna go.”

The album wraps with the tongue-in-cheek Billy Strings collab, “High Note,” which finds Bentley enjoying the finer and higher things in life. He’s settling in with some of “Willie’s best” on the twangy, fiddle-filled toe tapper of a track that ends the album on the highest of notes, quite literally.

While Bentley has admitted that Gravel & Gold was actually the third iteration of his new album and the result of two scrapped projects, it just goes to prove the old adage right: Third time’s the charm. And Gravel & Gold is indeed just that: charming.

Gravel & Gold Tracklist:

  1. “Same Ol’ Me”
  2. “Sun Sets In Colorado”
  3. “Heartbreak Drinking Tour”
  4. “Something Real”
  5. “Still”
  6. “Beer At My Funeral”
  7. “Cowboy Boots” (Featuring Ashley McBryde)
  8. “Gold”
  9. “Walking Each Other Home”
  10. “Roll On”
  11. “All The Right Places”
  12. “Ain’t All Bad”
  13. “Old Pickup”
  14. “High Note” (Featuring Billy Strings)

Country Swag Picks:

  1. Cowboy Boots (with Ashley McBryde)
  2. Same Ol’ Me
  3. Something Real
  4. Gold

Dierks Bentley releases brand new album, ‘Gravel & Gold” out now.

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Gravel & Gold is available everywhere you buy or stream music. Take a listen below and check out more new recently released tunes on our ‘New Country Music’ playlist. Be sure to give the playlist a follow for your weekly new country music fix.