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Barney Bentall (from the album Cosmic Dreamer on Golden Cage Music/True North Records) (by Lee Zimmerman)
A Canadian treasure, Barney Bentall gained famed in the Great White North courtesy of his 1990s band Barney Bentall and the Legendary Hearts and quickly expanded his notoriety through a series of solo albums beginning in 2006 and continuing through the present day. His son Dustin Bentall continues that musical tradition, but even so, the elder Bentall shows no signs of slowing down. And while his fame may be somewhat limited south of the border, his musical mantra remains undiminished.
Bentall’s latest, appropriately titled Cosmic Dreamer is a lovely piece of work, expressly initiated by two beautiful ballads, “Cosmic Dreamer” and “Whiskey Jack”. Barney Bentall applies a tender touch, with keyboards, mandola, mandolin, and, on the latter, violin and pedal steel underscoring the arrangements with a supple caress. “Why Are You So Sad”, “No Good Time To Go”, “Potter’s Wheel”, “Shadows”, and “Soul Sister” touch on personal circumstance and, in so doing, help sustain that exquisitely mellow mantra.
In that regard, a cover of Dylan’s classic “You’re Going to Make Me Lonesome When You Go” from Blood on the Tracks and the seductive sway of “Oh Foolish Me” share the ache and heartbreak felt in the aftermath of a severed relationship. One of Bentall’s strengths lies in his ability to convey sadder sentiments from his own unfettered perspective, giving them a universal appeal well within reach of anyone who’s ever experienced a similar degree of distress and disappointment. It is, in fact, evidence of Bentall’s common connection to his own humanity.
The uniform excellence of Cosmic Dreamer ought to leave no doubt as to the fact that Barney Bentall has ascended to the uppermost heights of today’s top tier of contemporary singer/songwriters. So, while Cosmic Dreamer may come across as a singularly somber affair, it’s one that resonates with calm and contemplation in equal measure. This is an album that those who experience it are likely to cherish for years to come. While certain songs may bring its listeners close to tears, the appreciation is both ongoing and affecting. (By Lee Zimmerman)
Listen and buy the music of Barney Bentall from AMAZON
For more information and purchase options, please visit the Barney Bentall website
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