CREATED Feb. 4, 2014
Dierks Bentley has recorded seven albums in his career, but a documentary film is new territory for him. In conjunction with the release of his new album, "Riser," on Feb. 25, Dierks will also share with fans a behind-the-scenes doc that, based on the trailer, seems to show a very intimate look at the country star as he deals with life-changing events including the death of his father, Leon, in 2012 and the birth of his son, Knox, last fall.
The film, "Dierks Bentley: Riser," will debut in an edited form Feb. 22 on CMT at 2 p.m. (ET). The full length version will premiere the same day on the Palladia network at 9 p.m. (ET). It will also be available for fans to purchase in the coming weeks.
To celebrate both the new album and film, Dierks will host screenings over the course of the next few weeks in London, Los Angeles, Nashville, New York and Toronto.
“The two phrases ‘touring musician’ and ‘family man’ were never meant to go hand-in-hand. It’s just hard," says Dierks in a press release announcing the film. "It really hurts your heart to walk out the door on your kids. It’s like the two loves of your life pulling at you – your family and your love of music. I wanted this album to be that deeper look at who I am and who I try to be, and so I guess it's the same with this film too. The first time I watched the rough edit, I actually got physically uncomfortable because it's all in there, my whole life right there on the screen for the whole world to see."
Director Wes Edwards and multiple film crews followed Bentley, 38, for parts of the last two years, logging thousands of hours of tape, later edited down to the most pivotal moments. Edwards notes that Dierks is a complex guy, and one who, "flies his own plane but uses a kitchen trash bag for luggage."
According to PR materials for the documentary, "The film covers everything from the most quiet, pensive moments from Bentley's bunk on the tour bus to the rush of excitement in the delivery room for the birth of his son Knox, and it's all set to the soundtrack of the album that these events inspired."
"In the hour-long documentary . . . viewers see Bentley eating breakfast with daughters Evie, 5, and Jordan, 3, at their mini-me sized table, fly his plane to and from shows and witness his anxiety over the fear of missing Knox's October birth – as it turns out, he made it in plenty of time," People
"I want this album to sum up who I am as a guy going through these different changes in life," Dierks tells People. "You lose your dad, get married and have kids, but you're on the road rocking and acting like you're 13 years old on stage with a guitar in your hand."
Dierks addresses the death of his father in "Riser's" current single, "I Hold On," and he tells People, "He's always been my biggest influence and hero. [I'm] trying to come out the other side intact and stronger than ever ... the kind of person that's going to always pick themselves back up and pick up the people around them. This is who I want to be."