Barney Bentall recently played the Azrieli Studio as part of the NAC Presents program, an initiative aimed at bringing Canadian talent, emerging or established, to the national stage. Donning his harmonica, guitar and hat, he was joined by two talented musicians, Eric Reed on mandolin/guitar and Anne Lindsay on violin.
The studio was the perfect place to be on a rainy Sunday as Barney Bentall shared anecdotes about many of his songs from his recently released album The Drifter and The Preacher. From describing how his father-in-law had a joie-de-vivre riding his motorcycle well into his 80s, to pondering life choices when his ranch’s cattle went missing for a month, to giving a glimpse into the methodology of writing a song with his son Dustin, the afternoon was a pleasant one filled with smiles, songs and stories.
The two sets drew from throughout his career, including work from prior solo albums and classics from his earlier times with The Legendary Hearts. During one such song, “Doin’ Fine”, the audience barely needed any coaxing to chime in on the chorus. For the encore Barney Bentall paid tribute to Gord Downie with a particularly moving rendition of Bobcaygeon, a song where Anne Lindsay’s violin was especially stunning.
After remarking on the important work Mr. Downie had begun with Indigenous reconciliation he ended the event with “On the Shores of Grise Fjord”, a similarly themed story about the Indigenous relocation to that community.
For more information on what other artists will be performing as part of NAC Présents please visit: https://nac-cna.ca/en/présents