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Dierks Bentley Reveals His ‘Shotgun Blast’ Songwriting Process

Dierks Bentley
Cliff Hawkins, Getty Images

Dierks Bentley is no stranger to writing a hit song. Seven of his chart-topping hits were songs he had a hand in writing: ‘What Was I Thinkin’,’ ‘Come a Little Closer,’ ‘Settle for a Slowdown,’ ‘Every Mile a Memory,’ ‘Free and Easy (Down the Road I Go),’ ‘Feel That Fire’ and ‘Sideways.’

“I probably have written more songs on my albums than anyone I know, except maybe Taylor Swift,” Bentley tells Nashville newspaper The Tennessean. “[But] writing for me changes with every record.

“There are some guys in town that are really smart and have it all figured out,” Bentley continues. “They find two or three people and they write songs with them and they save a lot of time just writing with the same people over and over again. My style of writing is more like a shotgun blast. I write with all sorts of people … maybe they’ve had hits, maybe they’ve not.”

It wasn’t until the making of his bluegrass album, ‘Up on the Ridge,’ when Bentley made the discovery that he doesn’t necessarily have to be involved with every song, just as long as it’s something that will connect. “It’s fun to listen to other songs, and I enjoyed it,” Bentley says. “There are a lot of great songs out there, and I just wanted to find something that complements the [next] record and works well in the framing of what you’ve already written. So I really have reached back into the community.”

Bentley recently wrapped work on his second bluegrass album, which he streamed live through his website. Over 30,000 fans logged on to watch Bentley in the studio.

Next month, Bentley will kick off his headlining 2011 Jagermeister Country Tour with special guests Josh Thompson and new duo Miss Willie Brown. Click here for a complete list of dates where the tour will be stopping.

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