Social Distancing With Dierks Bentley - Rolling Stone
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Dierks Bentley: ‘It Won’t Be Like This Forever’

Bentley explains how he’s been hanging out with his family and listening to bluegrass while in isolation

Dierks Bentley

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Like many people with grade-school kids, Dierks Bentley and his family were on spring break when everything began shutting down due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The five of them had traveled to Colorado for skiing and hiking, and remained there for several weeks as schools switched to online learning and Bentley’s touring obligations were all postponed indefinitely. Bentley and his family have since returned to Nashville; we caught up with him while he was still out West and asked him a few of our quarantine questions.

What are you doing with your unexpected time at home?
I’ve been with my family for a month, just the five of us. No one else has stepped into our house. But corona with kids is a whole other level. And luckily my kids are at an age — 6, 9, and 11 — they’re at a pretty good age to be homebound. They’re self-sufficient but not overly missing their friends, as 8th graders and up probably would be and are. It’s been awesome family time, trying to find the silver lining for us, but super conscious of how hard this is for so many families out there, so many couples. There’s a dark side to this stuff too, with kids who are being abused at home. It can go to so many places. I just feel very blessed to be here with my family and I know it won’t be like this forever, so we’re just making the most of the time together, getting outdoors and doing adventures when we can, just staying safe.

What kind of music do you turn to in times of crisis for comfort, and why?
For me, I love bluegrass music, so Tim O’Brien. Sam Bush radio is pretty good on Spotify. My kids have a lot of control over the radio so we listen to a lot of Lizzo, a lot of Maggie Rogers, a lot of Sia. A lot of pop stuff. But if I’m out here on the front porch, I’m just out here messing around with a mandolin or something. I’m playing music. If I’m listening, it’s mostly acoustic based stuff.

It looked like it was still pretty cold outside for your performance for the “ACM Presents: Our Country” special.
Oh yeah, there’s still snow. There’s snow everywhere right now. I just hiked up the mountain this morning right before I called you. I saw a lot of snow left. But it’s weird here. When it’s 50 degrees here, it feels like 85 in Nashville. Right now it’s 30 degrees, but it feels like it’s 60. It’s hot. I think it’s being so high up — the elevation is about 9000 feet — it just feels hotter when the temperature’s a bit lower. I came out here for spring break and everything hit and there’s no work and no school and no ability to socialize. It was like, well, I don’t see a point in going back to Nashville. I just wanted to stay in place, do what the officials are asking us to do, avoiding unnecessary travel. It was like, well, we’ll just stay here.

Anything else you want to say to your fans right now?
I’m just worried about people. The stress, the financial stress that some people must be going through. Conversations around the dinner table worried about paying rent, mortgages and all that. I hope everyone is hanging in there, and hopefully we’ll all… my manager was working on a Nashville Rising event for the tornado and all of a sudden this hit. We’re gonna come together and try to help everyone out with our country family. I just hope everyone’s hanging in there.

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