CMT Crossroads: Dierks Bentley & OneRepublic

Talk about 2 very different voices: Dierks Bentley and Ryan Tedder of OneRepublic.

However, two very good songwriters! The stories and melodies that come out of these two artists are unique to them, and putting them together was such a great combination. Not only that, they had to treat some of the songs differently as Dierks sings in a lower register compared to Ryan, who usually hangs an octave or two up.

Hearing the grittiness of Dierks’ voice doubling Ryan’s lines on “Counting Stars” an octave below made for an interesting sound. Both groups stuck around onstage for most of each other’s songs.  It’s always great to see the friendships that develop and also the potential for the artists to work together in the future.

This show came together perfectly, at the very last minute, as both groups have pretty busy touring schedules.  I was glad to be able to be there for this one.


Ryan hit the nail on the head. Gritty is exactly how I would describe Dierks’ voice. Conversely, Ryan’s voice has the softer and higher tone. I always love watching CMT Crossroads, because sometimes you get these voices that are completely different and mixed beautifully together, but it also gives you chance to see how different voices are as instruments. It’s so funny, because I could never see Dierks singing songs like OneRepublic, but I couldn’t see the opposite either. They’ve both truly found the genre most complimentary to their vocals, and that’s part of why both artists have been so successful. They know their voice and sound.

This one was great to watch because you can see the two artists becoming friends before your eyes. I think there was definitely some instant chemistry between these two, and like Ryan said above, that just opens doors for collaborations down the road.


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Ryan Smith

Ryan Smith

Ryan is a Regional Manager of Artist Relations at the Shure office in Nashville, TN. He started at Shure in 1993 in Customer Service and joined the AR team in 1996. Ryan has over 30 years of performance experience playing drums and percussion in various groups and genres. In his spare time he enjoys woodworking, watching movies, videography, and camping with his family. His Twitter handle is @ryan_smith1969.

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