(2009) The Inside Passage

Barney Bentall

... read moreBentall is an A-list roots rocker in Canada thanks to his work in Barney Bentall & the Legendary Hearts. In their eight years on the road, they played to sold-out crowds and racked up five gold and platinum albums. The band broke up amiably and after a period of inactivity, if you can call running a...

45′:54″ 10 Songs

1
Barney Bentall
Hold My Heart
3:57
2
Barney Bentall
Sending Out A Message
3:57
3
Barney Bentall
On This Beautiful
4:19
4
Barney Bentall
The Inside Passage
6:47
5
Barney Bentall
Face To Face
4:47
6
Barney Bentall
Catch That Train
4:38
7
Barney Bentall
I Never Meant To Make You Cry
4:05
8
Barney Bentall
Pap Henry's Boy
3:32
9
Barney Bentall
She Ran Away
5:14
10
Barney Bentall
Disappearing
4:38
Released 22 September 2009, 2009 57 Mile Music SOCAN

Review

Bentall is an A-list roots rocker in Canada thanks to his work in Barney Bentall & the Legendary Hearts. In their eight years on the road, they played to sold-out crowds and racked up five gold and platinum albums. The band broke up amiably and after a period of inactivity, if you can call running a cattle range in British Columbia inactive, Bentall returned to the stage in 2008 with a new group called the Grand Cariboo Opry, which featured some of Canada's best-known folk, country, and rock musicians. The new band plays Bentall originals, as well as well-known hits by Canadian singer/songwriters. For this, his second solo effort, he mixes electric and acoustic instruments for a song cycle he characterizes as man's journey from youth to looming mortality. Bentall's smooth, relaxed baritone is perfectly suited to the songs here, most of them midtempo reflections on a well-lived life. Bentall doesn't sugarcoat the journey he's taken, and his long look back is full of hard-won insights. With the exception of two country-flavored tunes, the music is delivered with arrangements that imply the sound of '60s American folk-rock records without sounding overly nostalgic or retro. Highlights include "Face to Face," a song to a daughter on the eve of her marriage that recalls the joys and sorrows of her father's marriage. A churchy organ gives the tune a spiritual vibe and Bentall's voice breaks on last chorus, a nice emotional touch. "On This Beautiful Night," possibly a song about a couple on their honeymoon, views the old world through new eyes. "Sending Out a Message" is a road song full of the longing musicians feel when they're away from home. Its pastoral imagery gives the song a timeless feel. "I Never Meant to Make You Cry" is an old-fashioned country weeper with teary pedal steel and tinkling honky tonk piano. "Papa Henry's Boys" has a modern bluegrass feel with galloping drums, banjo, fiddle, and electric guitar blazing away. It's the album's most energetic track. Bentall recorded this set live in the studio, without demos or rehearsals, and despite the mostly slower tempos, the music has an intimate feel and an unassuming emotional intensity. ~ j. poet