The son of longtime Canadian roots rocker-cum-singer-songwriter Barney Bentall, Dustin Bentall's sophomore album is a fine piece of AmeriCanadiana, if such a thing does in fact exists. For most of this record, Bentall's style is generally solid, especially on the gorgeous and gentle troubadour opener Railroad,
which sounds like Ryan Adams if he was fronting Blue Rodeo.
Working with members of Canadian power pop band The Odds - drummer Pat Steward and former Odds member Steven Drak as producer - Bentall plunders this same format again with the tired, weary but well-executed Take The Money with its pedal steel accents. However, the toe-tapping Three Thousand Miles is a train-chugging kind of ditty that is rather ordinary and forgettable as is the rockabilly-laced Six Shooter, while Draft Dodger shines thanks to some sweet harmonies.
The slower the material, the greater the risk Bentall takes. Yet the payoff is far greater than expected on the dirge-ish, downtrodden Pontiac, which takes its good old time moving through. This seems to be heads and shoulders over a rather run-of-the-mill rag like Arizona, a number that doesn't have much jump to it.
The album's dark horse has to be Secrets, which seems inspired by Dylan and Tom Waits equally. However a close second could be Sweetest Of Hearts, taking its blueprint from Petty's Mary Jane's Last Dance to some extent.
Overall this album doesn't shoot many blanks, although one or two more could've hit the mark to make this a surprisingly stellar second record.