Dierks Bentley

It all started when former Drive-By Truckers member Jason Isbell tweeted “’Dierks’ [Bentley] has officially ripped off my song ’In A Razor Town.’ Dierks is a douchebag” with regards to Bentley’s song “Home,” a song written co-written Bentley, Dan Wilson and Brett Beavers. Here’s the basic sequence for you:

So, there you have it. Listen to both songs after the jump and decide for yourself.

Bentley’s “Home:”

Isbell’s “In A Razor Town,” from 2007′s Sirens Of The Dutch.

They all just sound like “Mary Jane’s Last Dance” to me.

Comments (28)
  1. http://youtu.be/sQcYGx_jzlU they both sound like s club 7 to me lulz

  2. If Bentley’s defense, even if I had written a country song, I’m sure it would have come out sounding just like Jason’s without even trying.

  3. This Is Some B/S I am From Muscle Shoals Alabama So hey WE Don’t Call ASSHOLEVILLE for no reason.

  4. Playing them at the same time is pretty interesting!

  5. Last year I think Dierks may have done the same thing to Matt King. Dierks song “Up on the Ridge” seems to take pieces from both Matt King’s songs “Hard Luck Road” and “Shanty Town” Check this blog post and you be the judge. It’s just too similar to be ignored. http://www.eltrash.com/is-dierks-bently-and-company-stealing-songs/

  6. Dierks Bentley’s song, Long Trip Alone, sounds a lot like Ben Folds song, One Down, though I would suspect Dierks Bentley hasn’t listened to much Ben Folds.

  7. Sorry Jason but Dierks didn’t even come close to ripping you off (not that he’s reading this or anything but still). The chords and tuning are different in both songs (with Jason having a capo on the third fret; Dierks is in standard tuning and maybe even Eb standard tuning). Dierks’ tune has a straightforward tempo, while Jason’s is slower and lets notes ring out for longer time frames. And with Jason’s capo use on the third fret box, his tune has more in common with Ryan Adams’ “Lucky Now” guitar chords than with Dierks’ tune (“Home”). I know this because I (briefly) played both songs just now on my acoustic.

    Jason has too much emotion, not enough facts to backup his case.

    • Maybe, but how infringement works is different than you may think – tuning and tempo would have nothing to do with it. It would actually be up to a court of law to determine whether there’s substantial similarities between the chord progression and melody. The sustain on certain chords would make no diffference.

      Take the george harrison example…my sweet lord shares few significant similarities in terms of arrangement, key and tempo, but they are undoubtedly the same song.

      These songs are very similar, and it could probably be argued in favour of Isbell. Listening now, they sound like the same song. Isbell could very very easily back it up.

    • In fact, I imagine Dierks’ defense in this case would be to argue that the melody and progression of each verse and chorus is such a natural thing occurring regularly in country music, citing previous examples of both. Those are pretty simple, standard melodies, and that progression – mentioned many times already – is pretty standard.

      They mights also argue that certain guitar riffs Isbell employs are not employed by Dierks. You could also talk about form…I haven’t listened enough, but there may be a different order of prechoruses, more verses…a different bridge? Again though, there are precedents that imply there is a minimum in the progression/vocal/melody to prove Isbell had his song ripped off, and Dierks seems to be a rip-off artist, evidenced by his other tunes.

      • The link below is an interveiw w/ Dan Wilson, co-writer of home, talking about the writing process they went through on the day they wrote it. The story is fishy as an aquarium, and I am more than willing to bet that Dan knows exactly who Jason Isbell is.

        I met Jason last Memorial Day weekend after his show in St. Paul, and I’d have to say I’ve never met a more real artist in my life. (I’ve met plenty, ftr.) The thing that gets me is that Bentley is a major cash cow for whatever label/producer/walmart that uses his name. Jason is out there promoting himself through word of mouth, and doing a damn good job of it. Jason’s tour bus is a chevy van w/ a 6 ft trailer behind it. Jason is doing it the hard way and will reap the rewards in time. Needless to say I’m on TEAM ISBELL.

        Dierks can get bent.

        http://www.ascap.com/Playback/2011/11/Radar-Report/Dan_Wilson.aspx

        • Haha, was that article written by a highschooler?
          “But while his eyes need corrective lenses, his musical vision has never been more powerful”

          Seriously, ASCAP. What the hell is that sentence?

          Also that story sounds very made up. “It fell from the sky”? Yo. No. That is just a terrible way to describe songwriting. You know what songs I do not want to listen to, ever? Songs that “fell from the sky.” Great, that means you probably didn’t spend a lot of time on it, then, and also it probably came from none of your hearts. Sounds like a wonderful song.

  8. Pretty sure I’ve heard a hundred songs just like these two. No new ground being broken here…

  9. It’s funny how the two songs sound so much alike but only one of the songs is actually good.

  10. Yeah, Isbell’s.

  11. I gotta admit, I’ve never heard Isbell or DBT before, but I really liked “Razor Town.”

  12. i took several intellectual properties classes in college and there were very specific measures to claim something as plagiarism like @djfreshie mentioned. however, just being similar isn’t one of them, there have to be something like 7 consecutive same notes or something like that – way more than just sounding alike or there’d be millions of cases of plagarism.

    • I think it depends on where you are as well. I don’t know how Rome Convention countries differ from the US when it comes to infringement, but there probably are some differences.

  13. these songs are nothing alike!!! seems like jason is being a huge whiner so someone will pay attention to him

    • You created an account and logged in just to make a point on a subject you have no background in and offered no insight on, and provided no humour whatsoever, albeit a surplus of exclamation points. So someone will pay attention to you.

  14. I think in this case it’s the nature of music…there are always going to be similarities. I became a fan of Dierks when I saw him at Bonaroo. He seems to really care about the music community and foster relationships with artists outside of his immediate genre. I think it shows a lot of character that he works with cool artists like Punch Brothers and Patty Griffin.

    Isbell also seems to trivialize the whole situation by addressing something as serious as plagiarism that can be a felony in some states over Twitter (looks like his lawyers did stepped in and made him stop).

  15. As much as I love Jason Isbell as a songwriter, and think that Dierks has been notorious in the past for ripping off independent artists, all I can really say is, that a LARGE portion of modern radio country is a depleted version of either a classic country song or an independent one. They all do it, because country is as expansive of a genre anymore. It’s not like it was in the 70s. Country as a whole doesn’t allow itself to progress, therefore, the major labels, and major label artists, typically don’t have creative juices or influences to write an original song. As far as copyright laws go, who cares really? Did Dierks maybe lift the riff and chord progression of Jason’s song? Yes, but it’s also lyrically much more daft. In the great scheme of things, people need to stop suing each other, and just take a long hard look through Garage Rock & Punk Rock history; they’ve been ripping each other off for years, but when a good sound’s a good sound, and someone can update it lyrically or maybe enhance it with more thoughtful words, than it should merely be seen as enhancing a former song. RAMBLE RAMBLE RAMBLE. Haha this is why I try not to comment on here too often on here, cause I always ramble.

  16. *isn’t as expansive

  17. Jason Isbell is the best songwriter/performer in the genre I enjoy since I was listening to Whiskeytown. I feel it’s surperfluous as i’m sure history is going to look back and recognize Jason Isbell far far more then when this article was drafted. In a Razor Town was obviously drafted well and I’m sure Jason is very proud, but I speculate that there going to be so much more going to go well for him that this is something he’ll look back on and laugh….Best wishes to Dierks, I wish he wrote like Jason Isbell, I’d buy every album.
    dpd

  18. As a fan of Drive-By Truckers and Pink Floyd (and a songwriter/composer myself, as well), I’m wondering if anyone has ever commented on the similarity between the Trucker’s “Outfit” and Floyd’s “Lost for Words.” Melody and chords match up, especially at 3:14 of the Floyd song and 2:14 of “Outfit.”

    I mean, that is to say, they’re more or less identical. Phrasing is dead on and the shift in the third line to a minor chord…I guess the first time I heard “Outfit” all I could hear was “Lost for Words.”

    By the way, say Isbell tonight. Tight band, great guitarist, and the man’s voice is really rich.

    Floyd:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qV7cWhmoG9w

    Truckers:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HyJ9JfWbKLE

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