OK, the singer admits that sorrow came from the fact that he and wife Cassidy were in the middle of watching a tearjerker. "Honestly, I was not even paying attention to the nominations," Dierks tells The Boot backstage after his vibrant show at Los Angeles' Wiltern Theater. (He's talking to us in the only quiet place to be found: a 4'x6' toilet in the bowels of the venue, where a poster of a naked Frank Zappa sitting on a commode hangs overhead, seemingly taking it all in.)
"I was on the couch, watching the saddest movie in the world with my wife. We were watching 'My Sister's Keeper.' My wife is bawling and my phone keeps ringing."
He finally answers, gets the news and delivers the good word to his wife. They share a celebratory drink (beer for him, wine for her) and "partied for about 30 minutes," he recalls before his fiduciary sense kicked in. "The practical side of me goes, 'This movie is costing us $16 on demand and it's going to expire in [a few] hours, so we need to go back to watching it.' As soon as we pressed play, she starts crying. So there's really this sad moment to this intensely happy moment right down to tears again. It was like tears of sadness ... tears of joy ... tears of sadness."
Dierks' show at the Wiltern offered more moments of joy as Patty joined him to perform the nominated song together for the first time in concert. Afterward, the country star was still glowing. "When you die, people talk about what you see. Is it the light in the tunnel? But think about what you hear? [Patty's is] the voice I think you'd hear. That's the way I feel -- her voice is angelic. To have her number in my cell phone, is bad ass."
See if Dierks and Patty win the Grammy for Best Country Collaboration when the awards ceremony airs on Jan. 31.