Singer/songwriter and musician Barney Bentall emerged on Canada’s music scene in the early 1980s, and has since enjoyed an illustrious and musically versatile career that has bred multiple platinum/gold-selling albums, twenty Top 30 charting radio singles, several acclaimed side projects, and inspired creative collaborations. Nearly a decade prior to forming the Legendary Hearts, the Toronto-born/Calgary-native Bentall arrived in Vancouver in time for the emergence of new wave and formed Brandon Wolf, who released two EPs as well as a full length album before reforming into a 1960’s cover band called The Revengers. Playing biker dances, hayrides, funerals and strip clubs in order to afford studio time at the now legendary Little Mountain Sound, the group worked with producer Bob Rock on the demos that would spur CBS Records to sign Bentall to a recording contract and release the group’s debut album as Barney Bentall and the Legendary Hearts. The eponymous album garnered the group a JUNO Award, and went on to sell over 100,000 copies; achieving Platinum status. Singles such as “Come Back to Me”, “The House of Love (Is Haunted)” and “Something to Live For” became radio playlist staples during the close of the decade.
On the heels of their successful major label debut, Bentall and the Legendary Hearts followed up with studio albums Lonely Avenue (1990), Ain’t Life Strange (1992) and Gin Palace (1995). All achieved Gold status, and produced several top ten radio singles including ”Do Ya”, “Crime Against Love”, “Life Could Be Worse” and “Doin Fine”. In tandem, the group maintained a rigorous touring schedule which averaged over 150 performances per year.
In 1997, the group returned to the studio to record what would be their final album to date, Til Tomorrow. Following the last performance of their Canadian tour to support the album, Bentall and the Legendary Hearts went on hiatus with each member continuing on with separate musical endeavors.
Nearly a decade later, Barney Bentall would return to the studio on his own to record what would be his first album in ten years, the JUNO Award- nominated Gift Horse. Recruiting producers John Ellis and Blue Rodeo frontman Jim Cuddy, the album was released to great critical acclaim by True North Records, who have since released Bentall’s albums The Inside Passage (2009), and Flesh And Bone (2012).
Between recording projects and touring, in 2007 Barney Bentall launched what is now known as The Cariboo Express tour. This Old West-inspired troupe is helmed by Bentall and features a regular cast of some of Canada’s finest roots and country musicians who host a one-of-a-kind fundraising event in cities throughout Western Canada each year to support local charities. To date The Cariboo Express has raised $1 million in charitable funds. Bentall is also a member of the JUNO Award-nominated bluegrass group The High Bar Gang, is one-third of trio Bentall Taylor Ulrich (with Tom Taylor and Shari Ulrich) and occasionally reunites with the Legendary Hearts for select tour dates.
This coming Fall 2017, Bentall will release his next studio recording The Drifter and The Preacher via True North Records.
“Settle in for the ride – it’s gonna get moody.”
With that playful warning, singer/songwriter Deni Gauthier introduces his ambitious new collection of songs and stories, Passenger.
Self-produced in Gauthier’s St. Thomas, Ontario Studio, Passenger is a concept album that weaves Deni’s musings on life, love, and relationships together with stories about characters dealing with change, both positive and negative.
“You live and die a passenger,” Deni explains. “But you can live such a cool and meaningful life. That’s what this record is about.”
Deni is known for his lush but understated songwriting and singing style. He makes effective use of his looping station, as well as ambient guitar noises that add texture to his often haunting melodies. Like his other CDs, Passenger is an ode to beauty and restraint, with insightful lyrics drawn from real experience.
“I wrote these songs with an old campfire guitar, walking up and down the street watching my kids last summer,” he says. “Lyrically, they’re definitely the strongest songs I’ve written.”
Deni’s previous full-length CDs include Quiet Town (2014), i (am) hope (2012), and Man About Town (2011). His songs have been played frequently on CBC Radio 1, and singles including Into the West and All I Really Want have reached top-10 status on radio stations across Canada. He has been nominated for many awards, including several prestigious Jack Richardson Music Awards in the Contemporary Singer/Songwriter category. He tours often, and has shared with the stage with artists including Jason Collett, Ron James, Linda McRae, Irish Maythen The 77s, Craig Cardiff, Kerosene Halo, and many others.