Yesterday evening I was hanging around on the twitter machine (I’m a wild man on a Friday night!) I was watching the usual silliness pass along on the distinguished group of folks that I follow there and then I saw a post from singer/songwriter Jason Isbell that caught my attention:
“Dierks” has officially ripped off my song “In A Razor Town.” Dierks is a douchebag.”
“In A Razor Town” is a cut off Jason Isbell’s first solo release ‘Sirens in the Ditch.”
There aren’t many Dierks that I’m aware of in music so my assumption was that he was accusing Nashville Capitol Records recording artist Dierks Bentley. That assumption was confirmed with subsequent tweets as Isbell called Bentley out by his full name and named the title of the allegedly “ripped off” song.
The accused song is “Home,” the title song off Bentley’s 10/10/11 release. Wikipedia states that “The song was inspired by the Tucson, Arizona shooting that killed six people and critically injured U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords in January 2011.”
Isbell also accuses Bentley of possibly bringing an idea of his song to co-writer of Home Dan Wilson.
“I bet Dierks brought that idea to the table and Dan ran with it.”
Bentley took to his twitter account to address the accusation:
“@Jasonisbel “I bet Dierks brought that idea to the table and @Danwilsonmusic ran with it.” -HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! that is some funny shit!”
These things are tricky, and I was terrible at spotting copyright infringements in my copyright law class at NYU, but after listening to both songs (below) it’s a pretty amazing coincidence. If Bentley had heard Isbell’s song, and mistakenly brought it to the writers table as his own idea, he needs to listen objectively, fess up and cut Isbell in on the songwriting credits. That’s what Miranda Lambert did when it was brought to her attention that the title song to her album “Kerosene” was strikingly similar to Steve Earle’s “I Feel Alright.” Miranda will always be aces in my book for that.
ON EDIT: Ernie over at El Trash has a post striking similarities between Dierks Bentley song “Up on the Ridge” and Matt King’s songs “Hard Luck Road” and “Shanty Town.” there appears to be a pattern forming here.
Jason Isbell – In A Razor Town
Dierks Bentley – Home