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Dierks Bentley image provided by Big Machine Label Group
Dierks Bentley image provided by Big Machine Label Group

Dierks Bentley drops his take of Tom Petty classic 'American Girl'


Fri, Feb 23rd 2024 10:50 am

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Press Release

Multi-award-winning country star and world-class musician Dierks Bentley today releases his take on the Tom Petty classic, “American Girl.” The free-spirited, bluegrass-tinged track officially impacts country radio today (via Big Machine Records/The Valory Music Co.) and is from the forthcoming Tom Petty tribute album, “Petty Country: A Country Music Celebration of Tom Petty,” to be released by Big Machine Records in partnership with the Tom Petty estate. The album brings together the top country and Americana artists to create a tribute to Petty’s musical legacy.

Of the song, Bentley shared, "Petty’s southern roots shined through across his songwriting and storytelling. He might not have ever been considered as country, but you can’t go into a bar in Nashville without hearing this song. It is one of the greatest songs in a life’s work of great American songs.

“The spirit of this woman, the idea of such relentless hope – and disappointment – ignites such a spark. Jon Randall and I were driven to make that feeling of American roots stand tall.”

Find Dierks Bentley’s “American Girl” here.

Now considered as one of Petty’s greatest hits (Billboard, Hollywood Reporter and Rolling Stone), Bentley’s banjo-forward, spirited reimagination of “American Girl” is a festival of swirling fiddles, righthand organ figures and mandolin runs, complEmented by a pre-bridge breakdown that reinforces the stop/start nature of the moment.

Bentley and producer Randall recruited A-List session players Chad Cromwell on drums, Craig Young on bass, Rob McNelley and Randall himself on electric guitars, as well as Jimmy Wallace on piano and B-3. They also drafted acclaimed musicians Noam Pikelny on banjo, Andy Leftwich on fiddle and mandolin, and Chris Eldridge on acoustic guitar for the sweeping consideration of the desperation, dreams and betrayals plaguing a girl “raised on promises.” The instrumentation teams with Bentley’s vocals, equal part witness and mercy, capturing the song’s urgency and injecting Petty’s signature pride and defiance even in the roughest places.

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