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Dierks Bentley

Greatest Hits: Every Mile A Memory 2003-2008 – 2008 (Capitol Nashville)

Reviewed by Jeffrey B. Remz

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CDs by Dierks Bentley

The idea of letting your fans pick the front and back cover photos and title of your greatest hits package could strike the casual observer either as gimmickry or a thank you to the hardcore. Not to mention having thousands of your fans fork over a few bucks to be listed as executive producers, albeit for charity. Fortunately, for Bentley, this effort does not come off as calculated.

He accumulated a slew of excellent songs in a career continuing on the upward trajectory. All 10 of his hits are here plus a few new studio cuts and 5 live versions of his hits - most hits discs have a few new songs, and that's about it.

New songs "With the Band" is fun, light, breezy and catchy, while "Sweet & Wild" is of the softer variety with Sarah Buxton solid on backing vocals.

The live songs include two non-hits, the bouncy, great in concert "So So Long" and "Wish It Would Break." Bentley doesn't merely recreate the studio recording, adding vocal variety and musical punch while maintaining a country sound with banjo and pedal steel. Bentley live on the CD is not the same as seeing Bentley live, but these five songs give the sense that he's an energetic, not a paint-by-the-numbers performer.

Bentley has been a solid singer since his self-titled debut was out in 2003. With a little help from his friends, Bentley has created a lot of positive memories from the get go.