I’m beginning to think that Canada’s main export is singer songwriters of the Americana genre as yet another one has found his way across the pond to an already overcrowded Britain. This time it is Barney Bentall – yes, that Barney Bentall for those of you who were in your record buying prime in the nineties – and his album “Flesh & Bone” is as conventional as you can get.
You can tick off all the correct influences. There’s Bob Dylan and John Prine, of course, and tales of today with just the right amount of political indifference added accompanied by enough stories of the past to satisfy anybody past their prime. The trouble – and this is far from uncommon – is that Barney Bentall could be anybody that you might find below the half way mark on a festival lineup.
That’s a shame as the musicianship on this album is of a high standard and Barney Bentall’s singing is nothing if not earnest but the fact remains that the impact of this album is stalled by the predictable and unimaginative material. His hat is interesting though.