Dierks Bentley and his wife, Cassidy Black, can certainly afford to buy each other whatever they want for Valentine's Day. But the "Woman, Amen" singer says his favorite gifts between he and Black are the ones they gave each other long before they tied the knot.
“When 'What Was I Thinkin’ was released in 2003, I didn’t know what my life would look like, and all of a sudden, I found myself out on the road full-time, just gone," recalls Bentley. With his career on a sudden upswing, he had friends pack up his house and put everything in a storage facility, which he finally recently emptied.
"I’m going through just years of old stuff, and in there I found some letters that she and I had written back and forth when we were dating," Bentley says. "I was working at The Nashville Network and she was working out in San Francisco. [I] found some letters I had written her and I’d gotten back and some stuff she’d sent me, including a CD of songs she’d been listening to, back when you made CD mixes and there’s these three hearts on that CD. I just found that it was so meaningful for me, those gifts you give each other before any money, before anything else was going on, just music, giving of mixtapes was so cool.
"She reminded me of a mixtape I sent her. I’d sent it to her via FedEx, because it was so important she get this as quickly as possible," he continues. "I guess we had internet back then, but you really couldn’t send songs over the internet. I think the most interesting thing I’ve given her and she’s given me was just mixtapes, because there’s nothing like music to put into words and the thoughts you have in your head that you can’t formulate yourself.”
Now that Bentley has been married for over 12 years, his days of trying to win over a woman are in the past, but he has sage advice for other guys who are in the early stages of romance.
“Just opening the door, it’s such a big deal," Bentley says. "It’s just a nice thing to do. It’s a car door, unlocking the door for somebody to get in the car first and hold the door to get in. I just think that, if you’re doing that, then you’re obviously thinking about ways to be respectful, be considerate, be kind and be thoughtful and make for a good first date.”
Bentley's upcoming album, The Mountain, will be released later this year. He will kick off his Mountain High Tour on May 17, with Brothers Osborne and LANCO serving as his opening acts. Dates are available on his website.
Photo Credit: Facebook/Dierks Bentley