Burning Man arrives early in Nevada this year. No, not that fall gathering in the desert. Dierks Bentley is returning to the Summer Concert Series at Harveys Lake Tahoe Outdoor Arena for a concert on Saturday, Aug. 15, and he will bring his award-winning song “Burning Man” with him.
Tickets are $60.50, $90.50 and $130.50, plus fees and taxes, and are available Friday, Feb 14, at Another Planet (apeconcerts.com) and Ticketmaster.com.
Bentley, 44, hails from Phoenix, Arizona.
“Anything looks big when you face it in totality,” he says. “It’s like ‘How am I ever going to solve this problem? How am I ever gonna get to the top?’ But if you take it one step at a time and just keep grinding away, you can do it.”
He’s talking about the spirit behind his ninth studio album, “The Mountain,” and after 15 years in country music, the mountains Bentley has climbed could form a range of their own.
To date, he has scored 18 No. 1 hits such as “What Was I Thinkin’,” “I Hold On” and “Black” and has garnered 13 Grammy nominations. He’s built a reputation as both a dedicated family man and a forever-young drifter, put in millions of miles on headlining tours and taken the fearless stylistic detours of a truly authentic artist.
With “The Mountain,” Bentley continues that journey, taking more chances and pulling inspiration from the twisted peaks surrounding a tiny town in Colorado – as well as the uphill battles his fans face every day. Unified by themes of positivity and presence, 13 new tracks range in style from textured rock to acoustic folk, feeling both rooted and expansive at the same time. And in the end, Bentley reaches a new creative high.
The Mountain’s story begins in the Rocky Mountain resort town of Telluride, Colorado, which every summer plays host to a celebrated bluegrass festival. Owing to his well-documented love of the genre, Bentley has attended the festival multiple times over the years, always making a point to slow down and tune back in to the world around him. But after performing on the festival’s main stage in 2017, the idyllic surroundings became more than a much-needed getaway.
“I found myself there, constantly reaching for my guitar,” he says. “It was like a gravitational pull. That town and those people just make you want to be creative, I couldn’t describe it. I was like ‘How do I tell everyone in Nashville this is what I want to write about?’ I realized I couldn’t bring it back, so I had to take everyone out there.”
Featuring Bentley’s 2018 tour partners Brothers Osborne, “Burning Man” opens the album on a fiery-but-reflective note, fusing propulsive beats with booming vocals and guitars to describe the star – now a father of three – as a restless spirit with his feet firmly on the ground.
The blues-rock groove of the title track places Bentley in the role of a musical sherpa, escorting listeners up a winding path that leads past the clouds of doubt and into the clear-blue sky beyond. “It was only a mountain / Nothin’ but a big old rock,” he sings. Likewise, “Living” embraces life’s ebb and flow with a crisp, contemporary-country sound, and “Can’t Bring Me Down” revisits “Up on the Ridge,” feeling like an upbeat summer singalong as bluegrass hero Sam Bush chops away on his legendary mandolin.
For Harveys, it’s the sixth date announced for the 2020 Summer Concert Series, Kenny Chesney and Michael Franti team up on July 2-3, Old Dominion performs July 17, and Phish returns July 21-22.