A wide-ranging “emotional palette” is in store when Barney Bentall, Jim Byrnes and John Mann take the stage together on Nov. 2 at the Chilliwack Cultural Centre.
The three pillars of Canadian rock history have made 25 albums, have several Junos, and countless road miles between them.
They’ll play a mini-set of tunes each in Chilliwack and will masterfully back each other up.
“It’s going to be a really great show,” Barney Bentall promises in a phone interview with the Progress. He was just about to head out from Kamloops to winterize his ranch in the Interior.
They’ll be rolling out a range of genres that night from folk rock to roots, blues to pop.
“We’re bringing a killer band. They’re stellar musicians.”
They’ve done the show with the trio twice so far. Once in Vernon and then again in West Van.
“The last time it was just packed, and that touched me in a deep way.
“I play all the time and try to be connected to the music I play, but this was special.”
Mann’s recent early onset Alzheimer’s diagnosis is part of the extreme poignancy they’ll bring to bear on the evening.
“It’s an emotional affair partly because of John going public with his battle,” Bentall said.
“Feels pretty raw.”
He’s inspired by the courage Mann brings to it, and to Byrnes for his sheer grit as well.
Jim Byrnes comes from the heart of the blues in St. Louis, Missouri, a hometown that takes centre stage as the album title of his most recent release: St. Louis Blues, with Steve Dawson.
Two swipes with death, one resulting in the loss of his legs haven’t slowed him down one bit, the rocker has been going strong since he picked up the blues guitar at age 13 and has no plans to stop. He brings a sweet smokiness to the trio with his lifelong love of blues—and it’s that quiet, deep joy that hypnotizes his audiences.
John Mann completes the trio with a classic rock pedigree from in a little band called Spirit of the West — not to mention an alt-folk sound as a solo artist nicknamed Mister Mann.
Known for intimate, and entertaining performances, an evening with Bentall, Byrnes and Mann will be filled with their road stories and songs. They are the musicians behind some of Canada’s most well-known hits from the 80s, 90s, and 2000s, so the audience is in for a night of nostalgia and West Coast spirit.
It was his agent Deb Peter’s idea that the three of them do a show together.
“It was a great vision. You should really come check it out. It really knocked me out and I’m up on stage.”
It’s important to Bentall to keep it fresh.
He’s released three solo records on the quintessential Canadian label founded by Bernie Finkelstein called True North Records.
“Putting out records these days is a funny thing,” he offers. “A person could be forgiven for asking someone why they would do this. But it’s what I do and it’s important. I could not be an act that had hits way back when. I have to continually be creating and putting out new material.”
His band the Legendary Hearts still play from time to time, he writes in his bio. One of the songs he’s best known for is Something to Live For.
“I have a kick ass solo band we call The Bonapartes. I have a trio with Shari Ulrich and Tom Taylor – a gem I cherish. We have a rambling, on the edge C&W
12-piece orchestra called The Grand Cariboo Opry that tours in the fall to raise funds for charity.
“And recently we have formed a bluegrass band under the leadership of my good friend and long time musical mate Colin Nairne. We are called the High Bar Gang and we’ve just released our first CD on True North.”
Bentall, Byrnes & Mann at the Cultural Centre November 2 in HUB International Theatre. Tickets are $35 for adults, $32 for seniors, and $30 for students calling the box office at 604-392-SHOW (7469) or chilliwackculturalcentre.ca.