Dierks Bentley admits he was a bit surprised by the reaction he has received for his new bluegrass-tinged album, 'Up on the Ridge,' especially with the three CMA nominations he garnered, including one for Album of the Year, as well as for the airplay he has enjoyed since the title track was released as the first single from the heartfelt project.

"When I went in to make this record, I really threw away all of my expectations for anything like that, country radio airplay, just anything," Dierks tells The Boot. "I went into it with no expectations, and that's what freed me up to make the album we wanted to make. And on the backside of that, to actually be recognized, to have country radio play the song ... then to be recognized by the Country Music Association, for making a record that leans on the bluegrass side, there are no words for it. I'm still taking it all in, and we'll be enjoying it throughout November, Album of the Year. I'll be enjoying that right up until the moment they announce Miranda Lambert's name. [laughs]

"That was the main thing for me, Album of the Year," Dierks continues, "because every record I go in there, hoping to make a record that's recognized by folks for the songwriting and the production, but this one was special, and I knew that the moment we started working on it. I'm elated, and I just feel very happy for the small group of people who believed in it and encouraged me to make it."

Dierks, who took home the ASCAP Award for Songwriter/Artist of the Year last week, is beginning to hit the airwaves with his new single, 'Draw Me a Map,' featuring Alison Krauss. He is expected to perform at this year's IBMA Awards, taking place at Nashville's Ryman Auditorium on September 30.

A Day in the Life of Dierks Bentley