Even though the Hot Country Knights enlisted Dierks Bentley (or, as they often call him, Jerks Gentley or Doug Brantley) as producer on their forthcoming album of original music, they'd still like to make one thing clear: Bentley owes his career to Knights frontman Douglas "Doug" Douglason.

"I bumped into him in a hallway somewhere, and he was getting ready to leave town. He was just kinda discouraged," Douglason (who looks an awful lot like Bentley, if you ask us) recalled at a recent press event. "I gave a great speech, really encouraging him to stay in town, [about] the benefits of being a musician, all the good you can do with your fame, and just encouraged him to keep grinding at it and working at it."

Apparently, Douglason's words made an impression: Bentley has gone on to be one of country music's most beloved modern-day artists. The Hot Country Knights have followed his career ever since, though they're a little fuzzy on the facts when it comes to his catalog.

"He's got that "Party for Two" song, "People are Crazy," "Turnip Greens" ... We love him," Douglason continues, listing of Billy Currington songs. "And then he wanted to give us a chance, although we were already doing just fine. We had a demo we did over at Trevor's mom's basement. It was going to get plenty of airplay."

In later years, the Knights opened for Bentley on tour -- although, they point out, he never really gave them the credit they deserved. "We've been out there supporting him on the road for, like, four years, and for the first three, he never mentioned our name," Douglason points out. "This last year, he actually had us as official support. We were on the billing. I never saw [our name] on the ticket though, so I don't know."

Now that the Knights have their own 2020 One Knight Stand Tour planned, though, they won't need to rely on Bentley's meager generosity any longer. "I don't think we'll bring him along. I don't think we need those training wheels anymore," Douglason says.

"I think we'll maybe include some of his songs in our jingle set that'll satisfy," he allows. ""Feel That Fire," "5-1-5-0," that kind of stuff."

The Knights' One Knight Stand Tour begins on April 7 and includes 11 shows. They'll wrap the trek up with concerts at Alabama's Talladega Superspeedway and Nashville's Ryman Auditorium.

The 10 Best '90s Country Albums