Friday, June 03, 2005


Dierks Bentley

Modern Day Drifter

"Got A Lot of Leavin' Left to Do" by Dierks Bentley is the consummate formula "don't tie me down because you can't tie me down" country song. With a wink and a swagger and a belt notched with puns, Bentley holds all the cards: "If you turn me on," he boasts in the short, effective bridge, "make sure you can turn me loose." Grrrowl, you tiger!

The album is built around such solidly structured songs; no frills, enough thrills for an artist aiming so directly and effectively at the mainstream. "Good Man Like Me," with the Del McCoury Band, is especially good, leathery, lean and tough.

The title song, of course, is a myth. In an America where two full-time Wal-Mart salaries make families have to choose between the rent or food, a modern day drifter is most likely to be found sleeping in a cardboard box under the highway, not on the highway. Besides, the only way a modern day drifter could afford the gas to get from Tulsa to Tucumcari would be if he had a trust fund from daddy's oil business.

I had great hopes for "Domestic, Light and Cold." The playful title has all the makings of a clever George Jones song. If I wrote the song, it would be about a gal who stays at home, is always on a diet and not very smart, and of course, not interested in cuddling.

"Domestic, Light and Cold," incredibly, is not about a woman: It's about beer, from that less taste, less filling light category. See, after a hard days work, Dierks here doesn't want any of that foreign, fattening beer; he's completely undiscerning about his brew, as long as its American, won't get curdle his abs, and hasn't sat in the sun too long. The brand will come later, when this beer commercial-in-the-making gets made into an actual beer commercial, featuring Dierks, a tour bus, lots of pretty girls, and a whole lot of money in tour support.

(c) 2005 Wayne Robins. Contact:

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