Thursday, February 23, 2012

Artist: Barney Bentall & The Legendary Hearts, Album: Barney Bentall & The Legendary Hearts, Song: Jelly Roll

"You gotta walk, you gotta stroll, you gotta do the jelly roll."  Barney Bentall is a singer songwriter who was born in Toronto, Ontario but established his music career while living in Vancouver.  His first band was known as Brandon Wolf and they signed with A&M Records in 1979 and released two albums.  Eight years of performing on the fringe of mainstream success almost forced him out of music.  Yet in 1988, he formed a new band called, Barney Bentall & The Legendary Hearts and landed a recording contract with CBS Records.  His self titled debut launched that same year and on the strength of the fantastic first single, Something To Live For, the album reached platinum sales status in Canada.  The band was nominated for two Junos in 1989.  They lost the award for Canadian Entertainer Of The Year to Glass Tiger but brought home the trophy for Most Promising Group instead.  For me, this is one of those quintessential Canadian releases.  When I first became acquainted with Barney's music I thought he possessed a similar stage presence to that of Springsteen.  He walked the line between rock and country so well that you never would have guessed that this was his debut album.  Although, after recording for nearly a decade prior to this release, perhaps this should have been expected.  This particular album is filled with some legendary songs.  The House Of Love (Is Haunted), Come Back To Me, She's My Inspiration and this tune, Jelly Roll.  Jelly Roll was never a single which is surprising because it is an awesome track.  You can check it out on You Tube ( Barney would go on to release five albums as well as a greatest hits album between 1988 and 1997.  Even as music tastes changed and the new genre of grunge music became popular during the early nineties, his albums still achieved gold status sales in Canada.  The Legendary Hearts would disband at the end of the 90's decade and Barney would take a brief hiatus from performing and recording.  However, he did return in 2006 with his first solo release and has since released a follow up album in 2010.  Barney also started a musical collective known as The Grand Cariboo Opry to help raised funds for needy families in Vancouver.  You can follow him at  Sadly, this iconic debut from Barney Bentall & The Legendary Hearts has never been re-mastered and re-released so it remains a rarity today.  At the time of this blog, there were copies trading on Amazon, Discogs and Ebay between $5 and $20.  You can also find a different version of the song, Jelly Roll, on the Greatest Hits release.  Thanks for reading and enjoy!

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