We’ve run down the Album of the Year Nominees for 2020, as well as the Song of the Year nominees, and an Essential Albums list is also coming together. But since the mainstream of country isn’t always well-represented on these lists, let’s look back on some of those best albums.
Hot Country Knights
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Stuff a sock down your pants, unearth your razor shades, bust out the acid wash, and get ready to party like it’s 1989 because what started as a cover band stage gag back in 2015 has now become a full-blown major label release with original songs and radio single. It’s called Hot Country Knights.
When Dierks Bentley announced that his next album cycle would surround his screw off side project with his road band called Hot Country Knights and that they’d actually signed to UMG Nashville, we really didn’t know what to expect. We knew he was getting silly, but we had no idea he’d be getting funny too.
From the realm of news to get your country music pants going crazy, Travis Tritt just “Travis T guarantee’d!” that he will have a new album later this year. A new album from a beloved artist is exciting enough. But from Travis Tritt, it’s exceptional, especially if it’s a studio album. It’s been since 2007 and Tritt’s album ‘The Storm.’
You’ve already been warned that Dierks Bentley’s side project “Hot Country Nights” is getting real in its effort to return actual country music to country music, and after one week it has already had an impact in a tangible way. Travis Tritt has returned to the country radio charts for the first time in 13 years.
Hot Country Knights have released their first song called “Pick Her Up” with Travis Tritt guesting on the track, and granted, it’s a little silly and will have some mistaking it as some twangy version of Bro-Country because a pickup truck is mentioned. But taking the song in stride with the spirit behind Hot Country Knights, it’s kind of badass.
The alter ego of Dierks Bentley and his touring band have signed a label deal. “The Knights are promising to bring real ’90s country music back to a format that’s been drowning in male sensitivity, cashmere cardigan sweaters and programmed drum loops,” reads a portion of the press release—funny because it’s also patently true.
Last night (2-25) as part of Country Radio Seminar festivities in Nashville, Dierks Bentley, aka Douglas “Big Rhythm Doug” Douglason, showed the depth of his commitment to his alter-ego 90’s country band called Hot Country Knights by taking the stage at “The Stage” on Lower Broadway and launching into renditions of big late 80’s & 90’s country hits.
Move over Chris Gaines and Earl Dibble’s Jr., there’s a new alter ego in the country world, and he’s a soft-core porn semi-star sporting a mullet and playing cheesy 90’s country rock in the country music equivalent of a hair metal band. Douglas “Big Rhythm Doug” Douglason and his band Hot Country Knights is apparently a real thing, or a fake thing that’s pretending to be real