Sometimes it's great to be wrong.
Remember a few months ago when I wrote about Dierks Bentley's latest album, Up on the Ridge? And remember how I talked about the risk he was taking by producing a bluegrass-inspired album that stood in stark contrast to the mainstream market, which, in my estimation, "is a market that sometimes seems to reward conformity over innovation, and an industry that too often uses valuable prime-time network TV slots not to showcase the best of what country music has to offer, but to market a select number of carefully groomed country artists, promoting them as potential crossover artists to the lucrative pop-dominated airwaves."
You may not have realized it at the time, but my subtext there was "I'm talking to YOU, CMAs."
This morning, this year's CMA award nominations were announced. Dierks Bentley is nominated for three awards, including Male Vocalist of the Year and Album of the Year - for Up on the Ridge, that not-so-mainstream, outside-the-box, bluegrass-inspired album that I thought would be under-appreciated by the likes of the CMA.
I'm positively FEASTING on my words.
There's a message in these nominations, I think - a message about being who you are and doing what you love and not worrying about how other people will react to it. It's the same philosophy that underscores my parenting with my not-so-mainstream, outside-the box, bluegrass-inspired son. I'll say it again: the boy chooses his heroes well.
So, congratulations to Dierks on the most well-deserved nominations of this year's bunch. Up on the Ridge gets better every time I hear it. Bud and I will be tuning in on November 10, and we'll be hoping for continued good judgment from the members of the Country Music Association.
I would love to be even more wrong.