Gift Horse

Gift Horse

by Barney Bentall
     
 
Looking at the cover art -- Barney Bentall, ruggedly downcast, wearing range clothes and cowboy hat with horses on the back cover -- it is easy to assume that this is a country record in the manner of fellow Canadian icon Ian Tyson, featuring rugged, traditional songs of cowboys, lost love, betrayal, and vengeance. Not so -- Barney Bentall's

Overview

Looking at the cover art -- Barney Bentall, ruggedly downcast, wearing range clothes and cowboy hat with horses on the back cover -- it is easy to assume that this is a country record in the manner of fellow Canadian icon Ian Tyson, featuring rugged, traditional songs of cowboys, lost love, betrayal, and vengeance. Not so -- Barney Bentall's Gift Horse is reflective and pensive, a well-played and produced soft rock album influenced more by western and mountain folk traditions than overt country music influences. Bentall went into semi-retirement a few years ago, working a family ranch in a remote corner of British Columbia, and these songs are the result of his personal lifestyle change: "A man is what he thinks about all day long," he sings on "A Man Is," and on Gift Horse he shares his contemplations on life and aging, matured and sharpened from days of working cattle on the lonely plains of western Canada. There are a few anecdotal songs -- "The Ballad of Old Tom Jones," for example, tells of an aging rancher nostalgic to return to his birthplace, and "Around the Bend" sadly laments another broken family. Detractors of Bentall will once again lament his unimpressive range of expression, pointing to his limited vocal delivery and musical arrangements that lack innovation and originality; still, moments of real lyrical beauty in come in his more-personal tracks -- "Talk to God" and "You and I Will Meet Again" feel heartfelt and honest. "Come Away with Me" is the bonus track, a bawdy traditional singalong that lifts the mood of the record, injecting some much-needed liveliness and humor at the right time. The musical accompaniment is top-notch, and includes Jim Cuddy and Greg Keelor of Blue Rodeo, veteran Vancouver studio stars Rob Becker and Pat Steward, and significant contributions from producer John Ellis. Gift Horse will not open any new doors for Barney Bentall, but for his longtime fans or those of Blue Rodeo, this is a nice, laid-back addition to your collection that will ring true and clear.

Product Details

Release Date:
08/29/2006
Label:
True North
UPC:
0620638041529
catalogNumber:
415
Rank:
194342

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Barney Bentall   Primary Artist,Acoustic Guitar,Harmonica,Piano,Vocals
Robert Becker   Bass,Bass Guitar,Upright Bass
Jim Cuddy   Acoustic Guitar,Electric Guitar,Vocals,Wurlitzer
Greg Keelor   Electric Guitar,Vocals
Glenn Milchem   Percussion,Drums
Pat Steward   Percussion,Drums
Cameron Wilson   Violin
Finn Manniche   Cello
Rich Hopkins   Organ,Piano,Accordion
Richard Underhill   Horn
John Borra   Bass
Henry "Noonie" Lee   Viola
Steve Hilliam   Horn
Gary Durban   Tambourine
John Ellis   Banjo,Guitar,Mandolin,Piano,Pedal Steel Guitar,Electric Guitar,Electric Piano,Tambourine,Vocals,12-string Guitar
John MacArthur Ellis   Banjo,Mandolin,Piano,Pedal Steel Guitar,Electric Guitar,Tambourine,Vocals,12-string Guitar
Tony Bernal   Violin
Ryan Guldemond   Background Vocals
Molly Guldemond   Background Vocals
Dustin Bentall   Vocals
Henry Lee   Viola

Technical Credits

Barney Bentall   Lyricist
Jim Cuddy   Producer
Cameron Wilson   String Arrangements
Rich Hopkins   Arranger
Sheldon Zaharko   Engineer
John Ellis   Engineer
John MacArthur Ellis   Producer

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