A Canadian Veteran Finds His Voice in the Idyll of Cattle Country
Barney Bentall was long the example of record executives’ need to find a Canadian version of an American icon. Barney was supposed to be Canada’s Bruce Springsteen. This was an overly-easy nod to his flinty delivery and working class sensibility. Even in this “artist who sounds like” purgatory, Bentall seemed intent on a path different from that of his corporate overlords, yet the nature of that path was always somewhat opaque.
Now, after more than 20 years of some measure of fame in Canada, The Inside Passage is the clearest sense that Bentall has given of his own voice and sense. The arrangements, imagery, and atmospheres captured reflect his relatively recent move to the cattle ranch, and to the somewhat romantic if idyllic themes of that life and work. Listen to the title track and “Disappearning”, and the listener will hear a mature, vibrant voice finally clear of useless comparison.