Flesh & Bone (True North, 2012)
Reviewed by Lee Zimmerman
The fact that Bentall didn't necessarily get his due is certainly mystifying, but there is every reason to believe that belated attention remains a real possibility. The reason for the optimism resides with Bentall's sterling new LP, "Flesh & Bone," an album that encapsulates everything he excels at and then some. Clearly his song craft has never been better, with songs like St. Valentines Day, Long Lovely Love Affair and Her Beautiful Mind each creating an indelible impression right from the beginning. As an erstwhile folkie, his efforts on The Ballad of Johnny Hooke and Four Went to War recall vintage Dylan, a pair of rambling narratives of seemingly historic vintage. Fact is, Bentall never loses his populist appeal, and his homespun melodies and blithe arrangements perfectly position him as the journeyman troubadour he's always aspired to be.
With "Flesh & Bone," we can only hope that this excellence breeds admiration. As its title seems to suggest, when it comes to innate appeal, "Flesh & Bone" is as basic as it can get.
CDs by Barney Bentall
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