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Born in Toronto, Barney Bentall grew up in Calgary, moving to Vancouver in 1978 to try his hand at music. A dedicated family man, he faced a struggle to keep writing and performing music while supporting four children.
In 1988 at the point when a day job seemed imminent, Barney formed The Legendary Hearts and signed with Columbia/CBS Records. Their self-titled debut sold over 100,000 copies and featured three hit singles in Canada, winning a Juno in 1989. Between 1988 and 2000 the band toured extensively and released five studio albums which all reached gold or platinum status in Canada. In 2000, Bentall moved to British Columbia to operate a cattle ranch. After this change of perspective, 2007 brought the solo release of Gift Horse.
The Inside Passage is Bentall's seventh studio album. He explains, "I knew the title of the record long before I wrote the song. I wanted to write a collection of songs that were loosely based on moving through life. I grew up on the prairies but we spent our summers out at the coast. We had a boat and we would take it on long trips from the San Juan Islands to Desolation Sound. I've always felt the pull of those two spaces - the prairies where they rise to meet the Rockies, and the sea as it collides with the Coastal range."
Recorded in the spring and summer of 2008, The Inside Passage was recorded and produced by John Ellis at his Nashcroft Studios, with Daniel Lapp on fiddle, horns, and piano, Rob Becker on bass and Geoff Hicks on drums. "For the last two albums,", says Bentall, "I've never made a demo, and only put music to tape when it came time to record. I had read a quote of Paul McCartney saying that they never wrote music down or made demos. If the idea was good they would remember it! It seemed like a leap of faith at first but I got into it."
He currently divides his time between his ranch in the Cariboo and Bowen Island with his wife Kath and an ever-increasing tribe of in-laws and grandchildren.