Brandi Carlile and Dierks Bentley decided to use the ACM Awards stage not to play an old favorite or current single, but do something out of the box. “Travelin’ Light,” the bluegrass-tinged deep cut off Bentley’s most recent album The Mountain, was a perfect forum for both Bently’s rootsier side and Carlile’s ability to flawlessly harmonize with just about every human on earth.
Bentley, who was previously an ACM Awards host with Luke Bryan before Reba McEntire took over, looked thrilled as he traded verses with Carlile on the song about letting go of the past and moving on without regrets to weigh us down. For her part, Carlile showed off her famously versatile voice, which dipped into a heavy twang at certain moments in the song.
“I can really relate to what Dierks is saying,” Carlile told Rolling Stone Country last year. “We’re all seeking permission to lay down our burden whether we know it or not.”
This marked the first ACM appearance for Carlile, who, between winning Grammy Awards, producing Tanya Tucker’s forthcoming LP with Shooter Jennings, singing with Maren Morris on “Common” and making music with the Highwomen, has proven to be one of the hardest working artists in the business today.
Bentley, meanwhile, won Music Event of the Year earlier in the day for his collaboration with Brothers Osborne, “Burning Man.”