Although the instrumentation and sensibility of the 12-song album are solidly bluegrass, the project ventures well beyond the traditional sounds of that genre. The title cut, for example, is a rap-flavored, banjo-inflected paean to rural living, which Bentley co-wrote with songwriter-producer Angelo Petraglia, best known for his works with Kings of Leon.
Besides marking a return to the music that influenced Bentley early in his career, the album features guest appearances from such bluegrass luminaries as
Stewart has a distinguished bluegrass pedigree, as well, having toured and recorded as the lead guitarist in
He resurrects "Rovin' Gambler," the old folk song, and creates a new one with the ancient-sounding coalfields lament, "Down in the Mine," a co-write with Stewart.
Bentley will launch his 24-date Up on the Ridge tour on April 21 in Portland, Ore., backed by the Traveling McCourys bluegrass band.
The album is scheduled for an early summer release.