Barney Bentall, singer, songwriter (b at Toronto Mar 1956). The youngest of 4 children, he was raised in Calgary by father Howard, senior minister at the city's First Baptist Church, and mother Shirley, first woman president of the Baptist Federation of Canada.
Barnard Franklin Bentall, singer, songwriter (b at Toronto Mar 1956). The youngest of 4 children, he was raised in Calgary by father Howard, senior minister at the city's First Baptist Church, and mother Shirley, first woman president of the Baptist Federation of Canada. His grandfather, Charles Bentall, was the engineer whose architectural firm built many of western Canada's landmark buildings.
Bentall wrote songs with boyhood friend Gary Fraser that were inspired by Bob Dylan, The Band and Neil Young. In the late 1970s, he adopted the pseudonym Brandon Wolf and recorded a poorly received mini-album for A&M Records. With Brandon Wolf alumnus Colin Nairne (guitars) and Jack Guppy (drums), Bentall formed a new group, The Legendary Hearts (named for a Lou Reed album), that also featured Cam Bowman (keyboards) and Barry Muir (bass). A 1987 self-titled album for Epic Records sold more than 100 000 copies and earned the group a Juno Award as Best New Group.
Renowned for their exuberant live shows, Bentall and the Legendary Hearts attracted a loyal fan following in Canada. The albums Lonely Avenue (1990), Ain't Life Strange (1993) and Gin Palace (1995) all reached gold or platinum sales plateaus, and radio airplay has been consistently strong for such singles as "Life Could Be Worse,""Do Ya" and "Oh Shelley." The Legendary Hearts line-up performing with Bentall at the time of Greatest Hits (1986, 1996) featured Nairne, Guppy, Mike Crozier (guitar) and Dave Reimer (bass). The 13-song album Till Tomorrow was released in late 1997.
Stepping back from the music business, Bentall purchased a cattle ranch and continued to perform sporadically in an acoustic context. He released the album Gift Horse under his own name in 2006. Parts of the recording were produced by Blue Rodeo 's Jim Cuddy, one track was co-written with Canadian novelist Guy Vanderhaeghe (author of The Last Crossing) and guests included Bentall's son Dustin, an alt.country recording artist in his own right. The Inside Passage followed in 2009. Recorded and produced by John Ellis (producer for Ridley Bent, Be Good Tanyas, and Dustin Bentall) at his Nashcroft Studios, the album included Daniel Lapp on fiddle, horns, and piano, Rob Becker on bass and Geoff Hicks on drums and was inspired by Bentall's memories of summer vacations with his family on the west coast. Benthall's eighth studio album, Flesh & Bones, was released in 2012.