Dierks Bentley and Elle King Channel Johnny and June at the Opry [Watch]
Though Elle King isn't a country artist by trade, this duet with Dierks Bentley would argue otherwise. The two teamed up for a unique performance of Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash’s famed "Jackson" at the Grand Ole Opry on Oct. 4.
King — making her Opry debut — took up a banjo, while Bentley strummed an acoustic for the toe-tapping country classic, giving the song a modern flavor, but keeping its roots intact. King shows off her country leanings, adding a bit of twang to her usually soulful, raspy vocals, nailing the song’s female persona perfectly. Bentley certainly lends his own talent to the performance, but it’s King who steals the show with her unexpected country prowess and always-impressive voice.
The two first came together for Bentley’s album Black on the track “Different for Girls,” for which King adds a woman’s sensibility — something that was crucial for the song’s authenticity. The tune speaks to the importance of treating women with respect, noting the differences between how women and men typically handle breakups. Bentley said this song meant even more to him now that he has daughters.
“This is a song I couldn’t have sung eight years ago before my daughter Evie was born. I could’ve, but I would have just sang it from one stand point,” he explains. “It’s a song that’s not just for one thing, but opens it up for dialogue. It’s a crazy song and that’s why I put it out there. It’s a different song that makes people think a little bit and it says something that I don’t think has been said before.”
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