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Up On The Ridge CD

4.5 out of 5 stars 103 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

2010 release from the Country superstar. The all-acoustic Up On The Ridge is a powerful, beautiful album steeped in the Bluegrass and Roots music that moved Dierks Bentley to be a Country musician in the first place. Dozens of talents have contributed in some way to this project. Besides the five co-written by Dierks himself, the songs come from such varied sources as Bob Dylan, Buddy and Julie Miller, U2 and Kris Kristofferson. Kristofferson participated on the project as a guest vocalist as well, along with a slate of today's best traditional Country singers, including: Alison Krauss, Vince Gill, Jamey Johnson, Miranda Lambert, Sonya Isaacs and Chris Stapleton of the Steeldrivers. Players on the project include: Chris Thile and the Punch Brothers, the Del McCoury Band, the legendary Sam Bush, dobro player Rob Ickes, guitarist Bryan Sutton, fiddler Stuart Duncan, and mandolinist Ronnie McCoury.
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Digital Booklet: Up On The Ridge
Digital Booklet: Up On The Ridge
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 8, 2010)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Capitol Nashville
  • ASIN: B003DU50RW
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (103 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #8,903 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By DanD VINE VOICE on June 11, 2010
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I eagerly bought and listened to Dierks Bentley's first three albums. They were different than everything else on the radio; true, he was pretty much following the formula set down by Waylon Jennings (and even lifted a few of Waylon's rhythms), but it was still a nice change from the regular mainstream pace. And then Bentley kind of petered out; MODERN DAY DRIFTER and LONG TRIP ALONE just weren't as good as his debut, even if they featured a handful of amazing songs.

That's why I didn't really pay attention when Bentley released a new album (I completely ignored his last couple). Yet, when I began listening to the tracks and discovered that it was a bluegrass album, I bought it. I'm all for mainstream singers cutting loose Nashville's chains and doing what they want (I'm waiting for the day Toby Keith decides to give radio the finger...still waiting...I should probably give up...). UP ON THE RIDGE is, at its heart, a bluegrass concept album, filled with minor-key songs about love and life. Some have decidedly upbeat lyrics ("Fiddlin' Around"), and some use up-tempo melodies to convey not-so-happy lyrics ("You're Dead to Me" and "Bad Angel"). Yet this is not a feel-good album; it's an album by a man not quite happy with his musical surroundings (Bentley hasn't had a genuine hit in a few years, I don't think), who has decided to play outside radio. RIDGE won't have much radio success; in this day and age of hick anthems, blindly patriotic lyrics, and bubblegum pop sensibilities, country music has turned its bearded cheek to bluegrass. So be it; quite a few of us don't even bother turning the radio on anymore (God bless satellite radio, though).
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Format: Audio CD
Got my hands on a copy of the CD this morning.

My goodness ... this is good.

Takes a lot of courage to step away from "them that brung ya" to the dance, but by taking a break from his pop-infused country and making friends with some blazing bluegrass, Bentley proves he's more than just a pretty face. He co-wrote 5 of the tunes, including the title cut and my favorite, "Draw Me A Map." He also covers Dyan and Kristofferson, with a little Verlon Thompson thrown in for good measure.

Alison Krauss, Kristofferson, Jamey Johnson and Miranda Lambert also make guest appearances.

This one will be in rotation on my CD and iPod for a long time to come. Look for "Up on the Ridge" to clean up at awards time.

Enjoy!
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is a great album and the most listen-able work the Punch Brothers have done so far.

Why mention the Punch Brothers?

Well, Dierks Bently is a smart, smooth, singer songwriter who has brains, humor and a balanced taste that shows he appreciates good song writing and fine musicians. He gathered together some great music here.

But in my mind, the most amazing feat he accomplished was to show that the Punch Brothers are at their best when they are eased back in musical music. Too bad they don't find this kind of musical ease on their own. They make one top-notch backup band -- like hiring the Eagles in 1973. How do you pull off that kind of a coup? I guess brilliance recognizes brilliance.

As with the work of those greats, this album is far greater than the sum of its parts.

You will buy no better set of songs for many years.
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Format: Audio CD
Kudos to Dierks Bentley for attempting a contemporary crossover bluegrass album. It would seem natural for country music stars to produce bluegrass albums, but the effort is apparently harder than it seems, as few have been successful. Although conceived and marketed as a "bluegrass" album, "up on the ridge" has more of the sound of the usual pop country fare. This is a mostly acoustic album and Bentley took the usual formulaic gun-for-hire by employing a veritable all-star cast of bluegrass luminaries (Chris Thile, Sam Bush, Ronnie McCoury, etc.) for this album. However, bluegrass fans and musicians would be hard pressed to recognize the music here as bluegrass per se or even newgrass. Rather, the overall impression is that of that syrupy concoction known as popular country music, but perhaps a little less cloying.

It is not surprising that this album feels inauthentic. Dierks Bentley grew up in Arizona and attended an east coast prep school. He does not speak with a southern accent. his southern singing accent is fake and is incorrect in both its intonation and diction for the Appalachian accent of authentic bluegrass music.

Nevertheless, if one can get beyond the incongruity of these issues, this is not a bad little album. Some of the songs are quite enjoyable, although with few exceptions, such as Bob Dylan's "Senor", the album is populated by songs with the usual pop country fare of pedantic lyrics.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The only song i really like was the Kris Kristofferson song in duet.
He's really not a country singer (although in today's pop country world he might be considered one), and he's definitely
not a Bluegrass singer.
However, compared to most of the ersatz country singers in Nashville, he's not too bad.
There ain't no country music anymore.
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