Dierks Bentley's 2020 single "Gone" finds the country star in a sweet spot between his roots as a bluegrass fan, his past radio hits and the new sounds he gravitates toward as a country music listener. Written by Nicolle Galyon, Ben Johnson and Niko Moon, and produced by David Garcia, it features a protagonist who's "gone" in a metaphorical sense — a bit of wordplay that Bentley enjoys, and also connects to how he's feeling in 2020.

Below, Bentley shares the story behind the song, in his own words.

I've been writing a lot of great songs, but as always, when trying to make a record, I've just gotta ... pick the best 2x4s when you're making a house, I don't care if I made 'em or not. So when it came time to go cut some stuff, this song just kind of rose to the top.

I gravitated toward it because I loved the title; I love a good, classic country wordplay ... I feel like I've been gone; I feel like we've all been gone. I feel like country music in 2020 is just gone. So it touches on a little bit of the idea of what's been going on here with COVID, but it does in a metaphorical way, through a relationship. I don't think anybody wants to hear anything written too directly about what's happening right now; it'd be too depressing ...

I just love the groove; I love the way it feels. It's fun to listen to, and I just wanted to put something out that ... you enjoy listening to ...

I love the sounds of the old-school stuff, the acoustic stuff, but I listen to country radio and I hear these kids putting stuff out -- I'm like, 'I like those sounds too ... Those loops sound fun, and that sounds cool, and that lyric's really catchy ...' I've gone backwards — I've done bluegrass [2010's Up on the Ridge] and I've done '90s country [with the Hot Country Knights] -- and the idea of maybe mixing some more modern sounds with the sounds I know better, that seems like, in a way, new territory for me ...

Is it a hit? I don't know, but I like the song.

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