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L.A. Beat

Barney Bentall and the Grand Cariboo Express returning to Lethbridge this week

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Barney Bentall is excited to bring back the Grand Cariboo Express show to Southminster United Church  for a special Geomatic Attic show, Thursday,  Nov. 7.
“ We’re thinking of alternating years between Fort Macleod (where they played the Empress Theatre last year) and Lethbridge, because the Fort Macleod show was so much fun. It’s a wonderful theatre,” observed Bentall from VancouvBarney Bentall and the Grand Cariboo Express return to Lethbridge this week. PHoto by Richard Amery er, getting ready to rehearse with a motley crew of talent in Calgary, before opening the tour there, Nov. 1.

“ I guess we’ll figure out what we’re doing during rehearsal. Everyone rehearses on their own,” said Bentall, Bentall has assembled a steady stable of talent mover the past 14 years, though the line up changes slightly every year and sometimes every show.
This year Barney and co-host Matt Masters will be joined by friends Wendy Bird, Leeroy Stagger, Ridley Bent, Dustin Bentall, Kirby Barber, Stephanie Cadman and the Gold Rush All Stars. Usually they show is a fundraiser for a local  charity. This year, Barney Bentall  and the Cariboo Express are lending a hand to Youth One.

“This year the shows are half and half. When we do a show for charity it means a lot more script writing for Matt (Masters, co-host) and I because it is set up like the Grand Ole Opry where each song is sponsored and we introduce each one,” he said, adding they have fun with that aspect of it.
“For example, If a law firm sponsors  a song, then we have fun with that and make a joke,” he said.

“Leeroy can ’t do the whole tour with us this time, but he will be playing the Lethbridge show. And my son, Dustin is coming with us on this tour. And Mariel Buckley will be with us for the Calgary show,” Bentall said, noting each artist gets to play their own song or the cover of their choice and can ask the other musicians to join in if they wish
“ Some songs, like Ridley Bent’s ‘Suicidewinder,’ we wouldn’t think of doing a show without playing it,” he said.

 He noted a live CD of  the Cariboo Express tour is in the works.
“ It takes a three or four month lead time to release a CD.  And I never have time to do it. But we’ve been recording the show, so we have the material. This juggernaut has been going for 14 years, so we might do it for our fifteenth anniversary,” he said, adding in addition to helping out charities, he also enjoys the “hang factor” of the tour.


“We don’t get to see each other often, sometimes when I’m on tour with the Legendary Hearts. So it really is a celebration” said Bentall,  who shot to fame in the late ’80s and early ’90s with  hits “ LIfe Could Be Worse” and “Something To Live For. He released a new CD,  “The Drifter and the Preacher,’ two years ago.

“It was still new last year when we toured with the Express. This year, I think I’ll dig deeper into the legendary Hearts catalogue. I wrote a song with Bruce Cockburn called ‘Atikokan Annie,’ so I might play it. Dustin brought a really cool Dion and the Belmonts cover,” he continued.
”We’re always open to new material,” he said.

“And it’s a really wonderful feeling to play with a 12 piece band,” he said.
 He is looking forward to playing for the Geomatic Attic again.
“Mike Spencer is doing a really wonderful thing in the community. So I’m excited to get back out there and play. Usually we start the tour in Lethbridge, but we’ll be midway through the tour by the time we get to Lethbridge this year, so we’ll be really warmed up,” Bentall said.
Tickets are $45 for the show, which begins at 8 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 7.

— by Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
Last Updated ( Friday, 01 November 2019 21:46 )  
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