The Story Behind Dierks Bentley’s Road-Worn Martin D-28 Guitar

Dierks Bentley playing a guitar on a stage
Dierks Bentley TV

You already know the words…

“It’s just an old beat up box,
Its rusty strings across the top
It probably don’t look like much to you

But these dents and scratches in the wood
Yeah, that’s what makes it sound so good
To me it’s better than brand new

You see this here flat top guitar’s
Had my back in a million bars
Singing every country song
So I hold on.”

Everyone knows these lyrics, but did you know Dierks Bentley is singing about his actual guitar?

And it’s got quite a bit more than some dents and scratches in the wood… Dierks has worn an entire hole into the body.

Dierks has played the same Martin D-28 model for years now, using it to build himself up from a kid on the upswing to one of the biggest country music superstars of today, taking it everywhere from dive bars, to the Grand Ole Opry, to Lollapalooza.

Back in 2012, right after Martin released his signature model, he explained why he’s always loved Martin guitars:

“I’m a huge fan of this certain kind of guitar, a Martin guitar.

For me, it’s the official bluegrass guitar, but it’s used for a lot of different styles of music other than just bluegrass. But all the guys I love from Del McCoury, back to Lester Flatt, and guys like Dwight Yoakam too, Marty Stuart, they use this guitar.

I got a 1971 D28 and I still have it. And I discovered that… Martin guitars, that they really retain their value and if not even go up. But I always wanted one just because all those guys I looked up to played one, and it happened.”

And hole or no hole, it still sounds pretty damn good to me.

Reminds me of Willie Nelson’s “Trigger,” as there’s just something special about a guitar that grows with you throughout your career.

“I Hold On”

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock