The Arizona native is hard at work on his seventh studio album, the successor to last year's “Home,” a solid assemblage of country party songs, ballads and anthems that followed his 2010 progressive bluegrass collection, “Up on the Ridge.”
“It's definitely going somewhere new. I like changing it up. The smart way to do things is probably just to hone in on the one sound and kind of drive that into the ground. But I really like kind of experimenting — go for different sounds, try different things — and just kind of testing the different boundaries of country music and seeing what works,” he said.
Bentley, 37, predicted his new project would be ready for release sometime in the fall, but the multiplatinum-selling Grammy nominee can afford to be patient. After all, he recently scored his 10th career No. 1 hit as a songwriter and artist; in fact, three of the four singles from “Home,” including the patriotic title track, topped the country songs chart.
Last month, Bentley and Lambert performed a medley of “Home” and her heartbreaking ballad “Over You” on the music industry's biggest stage: The Grammy Awards.
“It's a career highlight to not only play the Grammys but to get to do it with Miranda, who's an old pal of mine. To have that experience together while we're on tour together, I mean, yeah, it makes the rest of the year just that much more fun that we all had that kind of bonding experience,” he said.
The bonding continues on the road: He recently teamed with his tour mate, her Pistol Annies band mate Ashley Monroe and songsmith Jessi Alexander to co-write a song he hopes they can finish at some point during the trek. Plus, he joins Lambert every night during her closing set for some extra fun.
“We try to find a way to get out there and have some cool interplay with the music and just do something that fans might not expect,” he said. “This tour is just the most fun I've had on the road ... and I think our fans are feeling that as well.”
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