Dustin Bentall
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Dustin Bentall

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Band Americana Rock

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DUSTIN BENTALL @ NXNE 2009
JUN 22, 2009 BY CHARTATTACK ROBOTDUSTIN BENTALL, NXNE, NXNE 20090 COMMENTS AND 0 REACTIONS
Background/ Composition:
Bentall comes from some fine musical pedigree (father is Canadian rocker Barney Bentall) and uses this DNA to his advantage. But his musical genes have more in common with Gram Parsons and The Flying Burrito Brothers than his dad’s penchant for more middle-of-the-road rock. Bentall was backed by a kick-ass band that included Adam Dobres, drummer Pat Steward and bass player Del Cowsill, son of the late Billy Cowsill.

Grade: 89

Comment:
His set definitely raised the temperature at the Dakota. Bentall is starting to forge his own path down some gravelly country-rock roads. Think White Stripes meets Johnny Cash, combined with Crazy-Horse like guitar playing.

Achievement of Rock ‘n’ Roll Expectations

Learning Skills: E=Excellent, G=Good, S=Satisfactory, N=Sad Really

Oral And Visual Communication
Eye Contact: E
Pronunciation: E
Stage Presence: E
Stage Banter: E
Image: G
Appearance: G
Use of Stage: E

Strengths/Weaknesses/Next Step:
This cosmic cowboy showed he’s on the verge. He played many tracks from 2005's Streets With No Lights, but also previewed many fine cuts from his new record due in September.

Musical Analysis
Level of Participation: G
Problem Solving: E
Teamwork: E
Work Habits: E
Organization: G
Audience Participation: G
Sound: E
Composition: E
Songs: E

Strengths/Weaknesses/Next Step:
This high octane performance finally got the music lovers in the Dakota to approach the stage and groove to the music. This was one of the high points of the festival for sure, with soaring three-part harmony and a fiddling frenzy.

Other Skills and Areas of Interest:
Charisma: E
Problem Solving: G
Teamwork: G
Sexiness: G
Haircut: G
Indie Rock Footwear: G
Nods to Disposible Fashion: G
Cool Equipment: G
Level of Inebriation: S
Actual Ability: E

Strengths/Weaknesses/Next Step:
One of many highs was Bentall’s homage to fellow roots artist, Toronto-based Corin Raymond (who was in the house). Bentall played Raymond’s "3,000 miles." Raymond, who sported a Stetson askew, was all smiles while he listened to his friend perform his tune while sipping a pint. - Chart Attack


By Kerry Doole
Having a famous singer-songwriter father is no guarantee of talent (Julian Lennon, anyone?), but BC songsmith Dustin Bentall clearly inherited some of his dad Barney's skills. The follow-up to his well-received 2007 debut, Street With No Lights, this strong effort gets a big assist from his band, the Outfit, comprised of Pat Steward (Odds), Adam Dobres and Del Cowsill. Producer John Ellis adds fluent steel and keyboards, while the reliably excellent Luke Doucet adds his signature guitar to five cuts. One of these, "Secrets," is a sparse and haunting song that single-handedly confirms Bentall's potential as a songwriter. Another highlight is Bentall's version of "3,000 Miles," a tune by talented Toronto peer Corin Raymond. The gunslinger imagery of the CD artwork is rather over-the-top, and there's the occasional banal lyric ("we're driving down the roads of our lives"), but Six Shooter generally hits the mark.
(Independent) - Exclaim!



It's quite fitting that on the day Nic and I welcome were supposed to welcome our son into the world, I mention a man that knows the pressure of finding his own way and living up to his father's name. Obviously, the shadow I will cast is insignificant in comparison to that of Canadian great Barney Bentall, but if our little man can find his own own voice half as well as Dustin, we will consider ourselves extremely fortunate.

His new record - Six-Shooter - is out on Impala records and is full of epic tales (like Railroad, the stunning 5-minute gem that bats lead off) and like life itself, it's full of heartache and pain. It might seem cliche, but Six-Shooter shows us all that whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger, or at least makes for some fantastic music.
- Herohill


By Steve Newton, July 20, 2006
Streets With No Lights (Independent)

It's funny, the stuff you remember, like a phone call to Vancouver rocker Barney Bentall in the early '80s. I was a cub reporter for the Straight, new on the local scene, and I rang him at home to get some details for a profile I was writing. I still recall how harried the guy sounded, trying to be heard above squalling kids in the background. Now it occurs to me that one of those miniature noisemakers probably grew up to become B.C. roots singer-songwriter Dustin Bentall. Judging by the world-class alt-country vibe of Streets With No Lights, it's evident that Papa Bentall raised himself one heckuva talented son, a sharp-eyed songwriter with a wonderfully earthy voice. Beats me where the Northerner acquired that Steve Earle drawl, but it suits him just fine.

Bentall wrote nine of the 10 tracks on Streets, and from the twangy, shit-kickin' title track that opens the disc right on through to the haunting, fingerpicked closer, “Blackie” , there's nary a loser in the bunch. It doesn't hurt that he's surrounded himself with players like ace drummer Pat Steward (ex-Odds) and guitarist- producer Johnny Ellis, whose pedal-steel work shines throughout. The sole cover is Stephen Stills's “Helplessly Hoping” , in which Bentall's rough-hewn vocals are nicely polished by the sweet harmonies of Molly Guldemond and Debra-Jean Creelman, with Ryan Guldemond providing some extremely tasty acoustic- guitar licks. Even when Bentall goes the standard 12-bar blues route, as on “Handful of Blues” , he manages to keep things interesting. Check out the budding superstar at the Blarney Stone on Wednesday (July 26), before Streets With No Lights illuminates his path to worldwide fame.
- Straight .com


LOCATION : Vancouver
DATE OF CD: 2009
LABEL: Universal Music
Six Shooter is produced by John Ellis and his country influences have certainly dusted this album (he’s the producer behind Ridley Bent’s 180 degree turn into a country star). Dustin Bentall has musical chromosomes in spades, and his songwriting talent shines on this album. It’s a sequence of coming of age stories, road stories, and an ode to the dark side of fame. His Outfit includes Del Cowsill (from another deeply rooted musical family), Adam Dobres and Pat Steward. Kendel Carson shows up on vocals; maybe Dustin will include her violin stylings on his next album. - BC Musician Magazine


"It's no secret that the country/roots scene is flled with beautiful voices pining over the man that done her wrong, but Romi makes you think she's run over a few men in her time and sure as shit isn't waiting around for the ones that left her behind."

Winnipeg's Romi Mayes (Raw-me Maze) has a reputation as a gritty, raw, hard-workin' , hard-drinkin' woman..... and all that may be true. But it's also true that she can move you to tears with her honest songwriting, make you laugh with her wit, and entice you with her sweet set of pipes.

Romi writes about the road, about love, about sex, and about drinking, drugs and heartache. She's spent endless hours on the road away from her daughter living like "one of the guys", and that's why you never question the innuendo or the swagger. But she's just as legitimate when she opens up and wears her heart on her sleeve on songs like I Won't Cry; you just can't doubt her sincerity. According to producer Gurf Morlix, "She's got the flint and she's got the steel... everything she needs to take her anywhere she wants to go."

She has just fnished a new cd "Achin in Yer Bones", and for those of you that loved her last release (Sweet Somethin' Steady), you won't be disappointed. Relentless touring and growing confidence has led to real growth as both a musician and a songwriter. The new album is her second endeavor with Texan producer Gurf Morlix (Lucinda Williams, Mary Gauthier.) The result is a dynamic, rich album with less of a bluegrass feel, and more of a gritty, bluesy edge. (It's the best thing I've heard this year, says Steve Edge, fabulous songs and tasteful arrangements. Sure this band can rock, but they can also groove. The piano player moves like Joe Cocker and really feels every note. The bass player is pretty animated, too. This will be a fun show, cos Romi has the sort of voice that could charm - or snarl - its way through the most hardened of hearts!)

Website: www.romimayes.com


The show will open up with a solo set by North Vancouver troubadour Dustin Bentall. (He might even do a few duets with his good friend Romi). You may have seen him with his legendary father Barney in that wonderful show The Grand Cariboo Opry.

Barney encouraged him gently as a boy, "There's no question I've learned more from him than anyone else in the business. He never pushed the guitar on me but was always there to answer any questions I had, and left the actual learning up to me. I spent a few years wishing he had cracked the whip a little more but I have come to realize that the style I have developed has been a product of my own chosen influences."

Steeping himself in the "Cosmic American Music" of Gram Parsons, The Flying Burrito Brothers and the Byrds from an early age, Dustin definitely has a "narcotic Cowboy" edge to his sound. He also comes across as someone who's packed a lot of living into his 22 years. His music is full of beautiful scars that are described for you through bleary eyes. The recordings ring with integrity and an uncompromising lust for life.

"For the most part the songs are all true stories. I've always envied those who can make up stories for songs. I can't do that very often or very well. Whether living out in the country, downtown, uptown, across town, or on the road I've always enjoyed living as various alter-egos or in parallel lives so to speak. I love to meet people from all walks of life so I can relate in as many situations as I may end up in. Most importantly I like to keep my own life colourful. That's all I got and I don't like grey."

Website: www.dustinbentall.com - Rogue Folk


It's been a few years since Dustin Bentall released his debut album, 2007's Streets With No Lights, but it's not like the BC musician has been sitting around letting time pass him by. No, Bentall has been busy writing songs and running down roads leading to stages all over the country, and it shows in the confident, rolling, dusty country of his new record—credited to the Dustin Bentall Outfit—Six Shooter. Bentall spoke with Vue Weekly recently about the path between his two albums.

VUE WEEKLY: Six Shooter was recorded really quickly over a couple of weeks last summer, but how long was the lead up to that?

DUSTIN BENTALL: Well, with the first album I just kind of made it and threw it out there with not much experience, and then it just slowly gained speed and after the first run of touring it got more attention and I kept going back out and getting busier and busier. So the timing just kept getting pushed and pushed until we got to go in the studio and make this album. I had all the songs—I was ready to make it probably at least a year before we did, but all these touring opportunities kept popping up.

VW: Do you write all the time?

DB: I'm always writing. I'm not really one to sit down and just write an album or kind of woodshed to get it done like that. Especially with this album, a couple of those songs were written right after I finished the first album, and one part of one of the songs was written five minutes before we recorded it in August last year, so they were written over a period of almost three years.

VW: When the band came together, you worked as a unit for about a year. Was that an important period of development for you and the other players?

DB: Absolutely. That was also it, we wanted to take the songs out on the road and just be playing together so we could go in to the studio, because we really wanted a live feel with all of us just playing the songs.

VW: Did you notice a big difference between when you first started putting the band together and a year later?

DB: Yeah, absolutely. Even more so this year, this past summer, just because we have even that much more experience. The guys in the band are such heavy, talented players that we don't even rehearse much. We just play on stage and we get up whenever we can and play as much as possible and I can throw anything at them and they'll nail it. That kind of keeps [the songs] unscripted ... There's a benefit to when a band's got their thing down and they nail it all the time, but I want to keep it interesting for us as well as whoever is watching so you don't know exactly what's going to be happening. Then it's fun for us because there are moments when you're just riding the rails and just hanging on.

VW: Tell me about the name of the band—this second album is credited to the Dustin Bentall Outfit.

DB: Well, the first record I did with session guys and it was just my songs and it made sense to do it like that. I didn't have a touring band at the time, but with this record, we've been playing for a year and we've got plans to keep playing together—we're a band—so I didn't want to call the record just under my name. I wanted to give the band more credit and let it be known that we're a band now. V

Wed, Sep 16 (10 pm)
The Dustin Bentall Outfit
Flow Lounge & Grill (11845 Wayne Gretzky Dr), Free
New comments for this entry have been turned off and any existing ones are hidden. We apologize for any inconvenience. - Vue Weekly



There was a little hesitation going into reviewing Six Shooter, the newest album from the Dustin Bentall Outfit. Truth be told, country tunes aren’t exactly this writer’s cup of El Paso Wild-West salsa, but resistance soon shifted to respect as this terrific album made its way into my ears with its light hearted, humorous and self-reflective take on modern alt-country music. For example, the second track, “Take The Money And Run” features the chorus, “All I ever wanted to be was a cowboy on the movie screen / Riding the range, firing my guns / Getting the girl, riding into the setting sun.” As clichéd and corny as this may sound, for some reason it works quite well, and lends an engaging quality where one can feel the beauty in riding the plains and kicking back a few beers as the sun settles into the horizon—even if the lines are sung with tongue slightly planted in cheek.

The Dustin Bentall Outfit - Six Shooter

With real stories to tell and a gifted way of telling them through song, Bentall has delivered a gem of an album that employs all manner of country tricks from the new and old school. Six Shooter travels beyond the borders, while perfectly capturing the essence of country life so thoroughly that even corny cowboy words sound romantic. Now let’s holster our guns and git to ridin’! - Discorder


[Note: I apologize for the slightly unflattering picture... I think Dustin was saying "cheers!"]

Date of show: September 28, 2010
Shot of choice: whiskey

Dustin Bentall, and the rest of his crew that make The Dustin Bentall Outfit, play what I’d like to describe as country music on fire. The foundations of his sound are country, but they have rock elements that bring power and energy that make for a great live set. Bentall has an amazing voice, a talent on harmonica, and a strong stage presence that is hard to deny. Still, he comes across as real and passionate, bringing life to his western-themed songwriting.

He is backed up by other great musicians, including drummer Rich Knox, who we had seen with Flash Lightnin’ in August and basically kills it on drums every time. Bassist Del Cowsill (son of the late Billy Cowsill) brings strong basslines and his harmonies are even better. The real gem of The Outfit, though, is Kendel Carson on the fiddle, as well as backup vocals. She’s got such talent, particularly noticeable in her fiddle solos, and an energy that brings a certain light to the stage. Overall, there is a chemistry between the members that translates so well to the audience that it’s hard not to enjoy yourself. The Vancouver-based band got several audience members to dance and most couldn’t help but tap their feet. There’s no doubt that genetics are on Bentall’s side, but he’s got his own talent to pave his own way. Country music fan or not, we highly recommend you check out Dustin Bentall live. He’ll light the stage on fire; I can assure you of that. - Buying Shots For The Band


Artist Information Instrumentation DUSTIN BENTALL (GUIT, VOC, HARMONICA) ADAM DOBRES (GUITAR) CAMERON LATIMER (BASS) GEOFF HICKS (DRUMS) JOHNNY ELLIS (PEDAL STEEL) Biography "I can't call myself a cowboy because I have yet to jump off a horse at full gallop to wrestle a steer to the ground like some of my buddies. That is the only thing left on my list for dying happy" This quote says a lot about Dustin Bentall. The boy has packed a lot of living into his twenty two years and intends to color the rest in without much concern for going over the lines. The Americana roots flavors and thick honest whiskey howl of his voice turn this first collection of story songs into true self-portraits. Dustin's music is full of beautiful scars that are described for you through bleary eyes. The recordings ring with campfire integrity and an uncompromising lust for life. "For the most part the songs are all true stories. I've always envied those who can make up stories for songs. I can't do that very often or very well. Whether living out in the country, downtown, uptown, across town, or on the road I've always enjoyed living as various alter-egos or in parallel lives so to speak. I love to meet people from all walks of life so I can relate in as many situations as I may end up in. Most importantly I like to keep my own life colorful. That's all I got and I don't like grey." Dustin hails from North Vancouver BC and it seems an unlikely place to nurture such a rustic troubadour. It seemed like an unlikely country for Rick Danko, Robbie Robertson, Garth Hudson, Richard Manuel or Neil Young to be from… until people took a closer look. Up here you'll find as deep a frontier spirit and hard luck charm as any nation. You'll find a reverence for the tales of everyday life and loss and you'll find a lot of people who have time to woodshed and learn their craft. Spinning songs by Young, the Band, Bob Dylan, John Prine, Tom Petty, and Steve Earle Dustin found the heart of that music and placed it under his own landscapes. "The narcotic cowboy thing definitely comes from my love for cosmic American music. I got into Gram Parsons and never looked back. "GP/ Grievous Angel" was the first time I ever sat down listened to a record and thought, holy shit! music can sound THAT good. And that there are songs out there that are THAT good. I found it so beautiful, honest, true and real. I had always listened to tons of Dylan growing up and loved it. I listened over and over in my room because I understood the music and it made me feel good …but with GP I had to listen to it over and over just to figure out why I new that this is the kind of music I wanted to create. Though I know I stray further from tradition than he would perhaps, there's still a coat of Gram Parsons Primer underneath it all somewhere. As I learned more about his short life I identified with the fact that he just did things the way he wanted. This has always been a classic source of inspiration for young writers in any genre.. The kids love an icon that doesn't give a shit. But his music just touched me in a way that I want to touch people with my music. I'd tell you about the narcotics in me but I don't have time to write a book." There have been a few "elder wise men", that have been there to drop a hint or two to Dustin. His father, Barney is approaching legendary status in Canadian rock circles and has let the boy grow up to build his own strengths. He just dropped hints but didn't crack any whips. "There's no question I've learned more from him than anyone else in the world. He never pushed the guitar on me but was always there to answer any questions I had and leave the actual learning up to me. I spent a few years wishing he had, but nowadays I have come to realize that the style I have developed has been a product of my own chosen influences. The old man proved over and over that he can kick the shit out of any crowd and I've always been really proud of that and hoped that it's written - Cest What?


Vancouver native Dustin Bentall first stepped on to the music scene in 2005 with his impressive debut release Street With No Lights. Four years later, his sophomore release Six Shooter proves well worth the wait.
Led off by the catchy, harmonica-infused ‘Railroad,’ Six Shooter starts strong and never dips throughout its eleven tracks. Bentall’s cover of Corin Raymond’s ‘Three Thousand Miles’ makes for the album’s most fun track, with its infectious chorus lyric, “I love getting high / and I talk when I’m stoned.” The standout ballad ‘Pontiac’ slows the record down briefly, but it’s at about the halfway point of the record that the tone really changes. Luke Doucet adds his deft touch with guitar on five of the last six tracks, with the spaghetti-western ‘Six Shooter’ and the standout track ‘Secrets’ that make his contributions the most strongly felt.
In assembling a strong base with his Outfit, Del Cowsill, Adam Dobres and Pat Steward, and adding additional talent from the likes of Doucet, Kendel Carson and Johnny Ellis, Dustin Bentall proves here that Street was no fluke. - Music Critic .ca


What a weekend! Toronto pretty much rocks sometimes tho eh.
Mark Sultan with Strange Attractor on Friday, Dustin Bentall AND Catl on Saturday.
And lots and lots of w*** and w***. (pssst, one of those is 'wine' and the other is NOT wizz, although there was probably a lot of that too because of the wine.)

First of all, Mark Sultan for $5 at P&L. Talk about dealz, amiright?
He was goddamn awesome, despite the fact that I couldn't see him even on my tippiest of toes, and the place was so packed that if the people on either side of you were dancing - which they were - then you had no choice but to dance too, but without expelling any effort of your own. The only downfall was that I wasn't quite drunk enough compared to most of the people in the crowd, and when you can't see anything happening on stage it's imperative that you drink your way into blind dance mode... especially when the music is that of Mr. Mark Sultan... and unfortunately for me I have been having troubles getting legit drunk lately (DAMN YOU SUPER HIGH TOLERANCE, I'D BE BETTER OFF WITHOUT YOU!) and because my budget didn't allow 5 more shots of jager it just wasn't going to happen for me that night.
Needless to say Sultan killed it regardless, but it was Strange Attractor who played first who actually blew my fucking mind, sinking the battle ship of my brain in one fucking shot. THEY WERE SO SO SO GOOD. Punk rock mofo's. Holy cow, man. My apologies for having nothing more to say about how fucking amazing they were, one of the w*** 's took it's toll on my memory of this performance and I'm left with only bits and pieces of the pure awesomeness that was their set.

On Saturday Dustin Bentall played for FREE at Cameron House. I never thought I'd get a chance to see him let alone for FREE and it pretty much made my life, even if I didn't stay too long because the place filled up like a crack whore's veins when the welfare cheques go out. Oh snap.

Catl played at the Silver Dollar as well on Saturday making it one hell of a twangy night for which I couldn't have been more pleased (that's the Cobourg in me talking!). This is the first time I've seen them since that epic Halloween show a couple years ago at the Garrison when I was introduced to them. That was such an amazing experience that I was a little bit nervous that seeing them in normal attire headlining wouldn't live up to the memory I have of them in costume between sets that magical night. BUT they did. They lived up to the memory and ended up impressing me more than ever without any Halloween gimmicks, just straight up bluesy rock n country. I mean, it says a LOT about a band who can entertain the shit out of a crowd with 2/3rds of them sitting. The drummer sitting is a given, but with the front man stationary for most of the performance yet still more exciting to watch than many bands I've seen with their singers constantly moving. The chick on the keys was the most fun to watch though as she slammed her instrument in such an encouraging way that even I was imagining her, myself, and a different kind of slamming going on after the show... me and every guy in the room I'm sure.

Sorry for the crappy picture quality... totally forgot my camera at home, WHOMP.

PS. Check out this army of misfit toys... totally going to come to life and kill us all. AHH!


I'm Sarah. I do what I want.
POSTED BY I DO WHAT I WANT!
LABELS: CATL, DUSTIN BENTALL, MARK SULTAN, STRANGE ATTRACTOR - Music She Blogged


Name: Dustin Bentall

Birthplace: Vancouver, BC

Currently residing: North Vancouver, BC

Musical past and present in one rambling run-on sentence: Dad was a rock star so I’m just taking over the family business, same old story.

Website: dustinbentall.com

1. Who are some of your favourite composers, musicians and bands from the past and present?

The Band

The Beatles

Neil Young

Tom Petty

Bruce Springsteen

Eliott Smith

Wilco

2. Is there a particular song or musical passage that never fails to move you emotionally?

The piano outro of Layla after the guitar wankfest ends. I was quite young when I watched Goodfellas for the first time and that music played when all the bodies of the dead gangsters started showing up after a night of some serious mob killings. Epic scene. Loved it.

3. How would you describe your perfect day?

waking up to breakfast in bed and then coming downstairs to find an endless supply of cocaine.

4. What would your friends say they appreciate the most about you?

The fact that my dad was famous

5. What is your most valued material possession?

my guitars, ’73 Martin D-18 and ’90 Gibson ES335. actually, probably my iPhone.

6. Who were you, or would you be nervous to meet?

Wayne Gretzky. Great guy

7. If you could blink your eyes and be in a favourite place right now, where would that place be?

On stage. anywhere.

8. Is there something you would like to do more of in the future?

riding horses and shootin’ guns on my ranch. when i get my ranch.

9. Where would you like to find yourself in ten years?

my own island in the caribbean.
- Nine Questions with Musicians q


Dustin Bentall hails from Vancouver, BC and it seems an unlikely place to nurture such a rustic troubadour. Spinning songs by Neil Young, The Band, Bob Dylan, John Prine, Tom T. Hall, The Beatles, Wilco and Steve Earle Dustin found the heart of that music and placed it under his own landscapes. His father, Barney is approaching legendary status in Canadian rock circles and according to Dustin he “let the boy grow up to build his own strengths…he just dropped hints but didn’t crack any whips.”

“There’s no question I’ve learned more from him than anyone else in the business. He never pushed the guitar on me but was always there to answer any questions I had, and left the actual learning up to me. I spent a few years wishing he had cracked the whip a little more but I have come to realize that the style I have developed has been a product of my own chosen influences. The old man proved over and over that he can rock with the best of them. I’ve always been really proud of that and hoped that it’s written in my DNA.”

Read more about Dustin Bentall at www.dustinbentall.com - Celebrity Vancouver 125


You can’t keep a good band down. Not that there was anything inherently wrong with the Dustin Bentall Outfit in the past.

After all, Bentall has released two critically-acclaimed alt.country-influenced records while touring from one end of the country to the other in support of bands like Sam Roberts, Matt Mays and Kathleen Edwards.

The last time Bentall played Moncton, it was at the Coliseum in January 2010 when he and his band performed as the support act for Canadian legends Blue Rodeo. Bentall has been anything but idle in the time almost two and a half years since they last played here however.

Bentall’s latest release is his excellent 2009 sophomore record Six Shooter. However, when he performs at Plan B Saturday evening, he will be toting a brand new five-song EP (Orion) for sale. Asked the reasons behind the seemingly long span of time between releases, Bentall chalks up the delay to a pretty typical culprit: life on the road.

“We actually made a record last year but we have been so busy touring, we really only had the chance to get five of the songs completed,” Bentall says. “Those five songs comprise the EP that we are selling on this run of shows that is bringing us to Moncton. In addition to the EP, we are hoping to have a brand new full-length record out by the end of the year as well.”

Bentall happily shares that another reason behind the delay in between releases is due to the fact that his group is currently negotiating for the release of a new record via an undisclosed label. Unlike his first two records that were released independently, working with a label with a dedicated promotion team would free Bentall up to focus on what he does best: make music.

“I would have loved to have had a new record out before now but I don’t see taking our time to work through this potential agreement to be a bad thing. I’d rather do that than to rush an independent record to market.”

Produced by former Age of Electric/Limblifter member Ryan Dahle, Bentall insists that Dahle injected a breath of fresh air into the recording of the band’s newest songs.

“With the new material, we went for a slightly different direction in terms of the sounds we were going for,” Bentall says. “I ended up spending a lot of time with Ryan, working on these songs. Rather than falling back on the standard chord changes, Ryan really twisted things up a little bit which was nice. Plus the fact that Ryan comes from more of a rock and roll background helped make these songs stand out from anything that we have released in the past as well.”

For possibly the first time in the past five-plus years of touring and making records, Bentall has finally found the magical line-up of musicians to accompany him on this music-making journey. Stating that it wasn’t until he was half-way through the promotional cycle for Six Shooter that he felt as though the group was finally becoming a band as opposed to it being a group of musicians that he leads.

“We worked with a lot of great drummers like Pat Steward from the Odds and Josh Trager from Sam Roberts’ band but we were always looking for a guy that could commit to us full-time,” Bentall says. “And now that we have found that guy in Rich Knox, there is definitely more of a band feeling permeating our new music. It is definitely a good place for us to be.”

Article published in May 18, 2012 edition of the Times & Transcript - The Music Nerd Chronicles


Dustin Bentall hails from Vancouver, BC and it seems an unlikely place to nurture such a rustic troubadour. It seemed like an unlikely country for Rick Danko, Robbie Robertson, Garth Hudson, Richard Manuel or Neil Young to be from… until people took a closer look. Up here you’ll find as deep a frontier spirit and hard luck charm as any nation. You’ll find a reverence for the tales of everyday life and loss and you’ll find a lot of people who have time to woodshed and learn their craft. Spinning songs by Neil Young, The Band, Bob Dylan, John Prine, Tom T. Hall, The Beatles, Wilco and Steve Earle Dustin found the heart of that music and placed it under his own landscapes.
His father, Barney is approaching legendary status in Canadian rock circles and has let the boy grow up to build his own strengths. He just dropped hints but didn’t crack any whips.
“There’s no question I’ve learned more from him than anyone else in the business. He never pushed the guitar on me but was always there to answer any questions I had, and left the actual learning up to me. I spent a few years wishing he had cracked the whip a little more but I have come to realize that the style I have developed has been a product of my own chosen influences. The old man proved over and over that he can rock with the best of them. I’ve always been really proud of that and hoped that it’s written in my DNA.”
It is part of his DNA. Then there’s the learned part. He sounds older than his years because his songs speak with wisdom about his youthful experiments with immortality.
The narcotic cowboy thing you hear in Dustin’s music comes from his love for Gram Parsons, The Flying Burrito Brothers and the Byrds with their so-called ‘Cosmic American Music.’ That is, not to mention the time he has spent in the saddle ropin’ and branding steers on the ranch.
A two-month pleasure cruise across Canada throughout the summer of 2004 inspired all kinds of writing. However it ended with a bang. Inside his ‘69 Chevy Impala Dustin and his best friend took on an F250 and its camper trailer head on in British Columbia’s Fraser Canyon. He sat there next to his buddy who wasn’t speaking and got a taste of the fine line between life and death. They both recovered and Dustin went on to record the debut record “Streets With No Lights” in 2005.
The release of that record took Dustin back out on the Trans-Canada Highway a number of times, as well down to Nashville and over-seas to tour Denmark and Ireland. The record caught the ears of veteran music publisher Leeds Levy in 2007 to with which he inked his first publishing deal.
Dustin recently opened some shows for Kathleen Edwards on the west coast. Concert goers in Vancouver are getting accustomed to seeing him up on stage for a Blue Rodeo encore. To complete the cross-Canada connection he snagged guitar slinging demon Luke Doucet for a couple days in the studio to Cameo on the new record. Dustin has done a lot of writing with Canadian Country Music up and comer Ridley Bent. One song in particular “Nine Inch Nails” holds the honors of 2008’s Country Song Of The Year with the Independent Music Awards of North America.
With a new band including guitar incredible Adam Dobres, drummer Pat Steward and bass player Del Cowsill, son of the late Billy Cowsill all signs are pointing towards 2009 being a very big year for Dustin and the crew. - Yeg Live


In the dog days of high summer in 2008, Dustin Bentall and his Outfit set off for the desert town of Ashcroft, British Columbia to record the follow up to Dustin’s 2007 debut “Street With No Lights” with Johnny Ellis at his studio, Nashcroft Manor. Ashcroft rests on the banks of the Thompson River and was a stopping point during the gold rush with a hopping saloon. The sound of trains is ever present with CP Rail running up and down the west bank and CN on its eastern bank. The haunting sounds of these trains serendipitously bled into the recordings of songs like the lead track “Railroad” or instance and the view from the various tracking rooms was either of the garden, which grew the bulk of the food they would eat while up there, or the desert hills and the river itself.

Every day the band would get up at noon, hang out for an hour and a half, and go down into the studio where they worked for an hour or so until the mercury climbed over 40 degrees C in the studio. Then they all piled into the back of the pickup truck and headed down to the river. There is a certain elbow in the river that the locals know about and it is one of the most spectacular spots on the face of the earth. Once the truck is parked you cross the railroad tracks, and you step out onto the surface of the moon. A quarter mile walk along a psychedelic wash of river rocks takes you to where the river takes a right angle turn. Now you have to understand that the Thompson River is one of British Columbia’s 5 biggest rivers. This is no creek running through the farm and the ride puts any amusement park to shame because once you dive in you are instantly racing at 20 miles an hour down the mighty Thompson. You can open your eyes underwater as you are screaming along over top of the riverbed and you feel like a 100 year old sturgeon. Rejuvenated and refreshed, the band then hit the booze shop on the way back to the studio where they worked until 3 AM.

A year or so before the trip up to Ashcroft, Dustin met and started playing with Del Cowsill. Up until then Dustin’s longtime guitar player Adam Dobres and him had been piecing together different bands for various gigs always searching for a Heartbreakers or a Crazy Horse. Del’s knack for harmony singing, bass playing and being a complete encyclopedia of music from the 60’s made for the perfect fit. Pat Steward joined the band on the road and they played for the next year as “The Outfit” and the sound of The Dustin Bentall Outfit emerged. The other desire Dustin had for Six Shooter was to have Luke Doucet dueling guitars with Adam. It just so happened that Luke was traveling from Edmonton to Colorado the week The Outfit were recording and while Ashcroft may not be the geographical midway point between those two destinations, it was a certain providence that Luke found himself in the desert for a few days. When the dust settled, the tracks were sent down to Vancouver to Steven Drake to mix and Six Shooter was born.
Hailing from Vancouver, BC, and spinning songs by Neil Young, The Band, Bob Dylan, John Prine, Tom T. Hall, The Beatles, Wilco and Steve Earle, Dustin has found the heart of that music and placed it under his own landscapes. His father, Barney is approaching legendary status in Canadian rock circles and has let the boy grow up to build his own strengths. He just dropped hints but didn’t crack any whips. The release of “Streets With No Lights” and the accolades that followed took Dustin on many a tour across the Trans-Canada Highway down to Nashville and over-seas to Denmark and Ireland, opening shows for Kathleen Edwards, Blue Rodeo, Sam Roberts and Matt Mays along the way. Besides penning his own songs, Dustin has co-written with some of Nashville’s finest songwriters, Mother Mother’s Ryan Guldemond, Vancouver troubadour Cameron Latimer and Canadian Country Music up and comer Ridley Bent. One of his songs with Ridley “Nine Inch Nails” holds the honors of 2008’s Country Song of the Year with the Ind - Killbeat Music


In the dog days of high summer in 2008, Dustin Bentall and his Outfit set off for the desert town of Ashcroft, British Columbia to record the follow up to Dustin’s 2007 debut “Street With No Lights” with Johnny Ellis at his studio, Nashcroft Manor. Ashcroft rests on the banks of the Thompson River and was a stopping point during the gold rush with a hopping saloon. The sound of trains is ever present with CP Rail running up and down the west bank and CN on its eastern bank. The haunting sounds of these trains serendipitously bled into the recordings of songs like the lead track “Railroad” or instance and the view from the various tracking rooms was either of the garden, which grew the bulk of the food they would eat while up there, or the desert hills and the river itself.

Every day the band would get up at noon, hang out for an hour and a half, and go down into the studio where they worked for an hour or so until the mercury climbed over 40 degrees C in the studio. Then they all piled into the back of the pickup truck and headed down to the river. There is a certain elbow in the river that the locals know about and it is one of the most spectacular spots on the face of the earth. Once the truck is parked you cross the railroad tracks, and you step out onto the surface of the moon. A quarter mile walk along a psychedelic wash of river rocks takes you to where the river takes a right angle turn. Now you have to understand that the Thompson River is one of British Columbia’s 5 biggest rivers. This is no creek running through the farm and the ride puts any amusement park to shame because once you dive in you are instantly racing at 20 miles an hour down the mighty Thompson. You can open your eyes underwater as you are screaming along over top of the riverbed and you feel like a 100 year old sturgeon. Rejuvenated and refreshed, the band then hit the booze shop on the way back to the studio where they worked until 3 AM.

A year or so before the trip up to Ashcroft, Dustin met and started playing with Del Cowsill. Up until then Dustin’s longtime guitar player Adam Dobres and him had been piecing together different bands for various gigs always searching for a Heartbreakers or a Crazy Horse. Del’s knack for harmony singing, bass playing and being a complete encyclopedia of music from the 60’s made for the perfect fit. Pat Steward joined the band on the road and they played for the next year as “The Outfit” and the sound of The Dustin Bentall Outfit emerged. The other desire Dustin had for Six Shooter was to have Luke Doucet dueling guitars with Adam. It just so happened that Luke was traveling from Edmonton to Colorado the week The Outfit were recording and while Ashcroft may not be the geographical midway point between those two destinations, it was a certain providence that Luke found himself in the desert for a few days. When the dust settled, the tracks were sent down to Vancouver to Steven Drake to mix and Six Shooter was born.
Hailing from Vancouver, BC, and spinning songs by Neil Young, The Band, Bob Dylan, John Prine, Tom T. Hall, The Beatles, Wilco and Steve Earle, Dustin has found the heart of that music and placed it under his own landscapes. His father, Barney is approaching legendary status in Canadian rock circles and has let the boy grow up to build his own strengths. He just dropped hints but didn’t crack any whips. The release of “Streets With No Lights” and the accolades that followed took Dustin on many a tour across the Trans-Canada Highway down to Nashville and over-seas to Denmark and Ireland, opening shows for Kathleen Edwards, Blue Rodeo, Sam Roberts and Matt Mays along the way. Besides penning his own songs, Dustin has co-written with some of Nashville’s finest songwriters, Mother Mother’s Ryan Guldemond, Vancouver troubadour Cameron Latimer and Canadian Country Music up and comer Ridley Bent. One of his songs with Ridley “Nine Inch Nails” holds the honors of 2008’s Country Song of the Year with the Ind - Killbeat Music


In the dog days of high summer in 2008, Dustin Bentall and his Outfit set off for the desert town of Ashcroft, British Columbia to record the follow up to Dustin’s 2007 debut “Street With No Lights” with Johnny Ellis at his studio, Nashcroft Manor. Ashcroft rests on the banks of the Thompson River and was a stopping point during the gold rush with a hopping saloon. The sound of trains is ever present with CP Rail running up and down the west bank and CN on its eastern bank. The haunting sounds of these trains serendipitously bled into the recordings of songs like the lead track “Railroad” or instance and the view from the various tracking rooms was either of the garden, which grew the bulk of the food they would eat while up there, or the desert hills and the river itself.

Every day the band would get up at noon, hang out for an hour and a half, and go down into the studio where they worked for an hour or so until the mercury climbed over 40 degrees C in the studio. Then they all piled into the back of the pickup truck and headed down to the river. There is a certain elbow in the river that the locals know about and it is one of the most spectacular spots on the face of the earth. Once the truck is parked you cross the railroad tracks, and you step out onto the surface of the moon. A quarter mile walk along a psychedelic wash of river rocks takes you to where the river takes a right angle turn. Now you have to understand that the Thompson River is one of British Columbia’s 5 biggest rivers. This is no creek running through the farm and the ride puts any amusement park to shame because once you dive in you are instantly racing at 20 miles an hour down the mighty Thompson. You can open your eyes underwater as you are screaming along over top of the riverbed and you feel like a 100 year old sturgeon. Rejuvenated and refreshed, the band then hit the booze shop on the way back to the studio where they worked until 3 AM.

A year or so before the trip up to Ashcroft, Dustin met and started playing with Del Cowsill. Up until then Dustin’s longtime guitar player Adam Dobres and him had been piecing together different bands for various gigs always searching for a Heartbreakers or a Crazy Horse. Del’s knack for harmony singing, bass playing and being a complete encyclopedia of music from the 60’s made for the perfect fit. Pat Steward joined the band on the road and they played for the next year as “The Outfit” and the sound of The Dustin Bentall Outfit emerged. The other desire Dustin had for Six Shooter was to have Luke Doucet dueling guitars with Adam. It just so happened that Luke was traveling from Edmonton to Colorado the week The Outfit were recording and while Ashcroft may not be the geographical midway point between those two destinations, it was a certain providence that Luke found himself in the desert for a few days. When the dust settled, the tracks were sent down to Vancouver to Steven Drake to mix and Six Shooter was born.
Hailing from Vancouver, BC, and spinning songs by Neil Young, The Band, Bob Dylan, John Prine, Tom T. Hall, The Beatles, Wilco and Steve Earle, Dustin has found the heart of that music and placed it under his own landscapes. His father, Barney is approaching legendary status in Canadian rock circles and has let the boy grow up to build his own strengths. He just dropped hints but didn’t crack any whips. The release of “Streets With No Lights” and the accolades that followed took Dustin on many a tour across the Trans-Canada Highway down to Nashville and over-seas to Denmark and Ireland, opening shows for Kathleen Edwards, Blue Rodeo, Sam Roberts and Matt Mays along the way. Besides penning his own songs, Dustin has co-written with some of Nashville’s finest songwriters, Mother Mother’s Ryan Guldemond, Vancouver troubadour Cameron Latimer and Canadian Country Music up and comer Ridley Bent. One of his songs with Ridley “Nine Inch Nails” holds the honors of 2008’s Country Song of the Year with the Ind - Killbeat Music


In the dog days of high summer in 2008, Dustin Bentall and his Outfit set off for the desert town of Ashcroft, British Columbia to record the follow up to Dustin’s 2007 debut “Street With No Lights” with Johnny Ellis at his studio, Nashcroft Manor. Ashcroft rests on the banks of the Thompson River and was a stopping point during the gold rush with a hopping saloon. The sound of trains is ever present with CP Rail running up and down the west bank and CN on its eastern bank. The haunting sounds of these trains serendipitously bled into the recordings of songs like the lead track “Railroad” or instance and the view from the various tracking rooms was either of the garden, which grew the bulk of the food they would eat while up there, or the desert hills and the river itself.

Every day the band would get up at noon, hang out for an hour and a half, and go down into the studio where they worked for an hour or so until the mercury climbed over 40 degrees C in the studio. Then they all piled into the back of the pickup truck and headed down to the river. There is a certain elbow in the river that the locals know about and it is one of the most spectacular spots on the face of the earth. Once the truck is parked you cross the railroad tracks, and you step out onto the surface of the moon. A quarter mile walk along a psychedelic wash of river rocks takes you to where the river takes a right angle turn. Now you have to understand that the Thompson River is one of British Columbia’s 5 biggest rivers. This is no creek running through the farm and the ride puts any amusement park to shame because once you dive in you are instantly racing at 20 miles an hour down the mighty Thompson. You can open your eyes underwater as you are screaming along over top of the riverbed and you feel like a 100 year old sturgeon. Rejuvenated and refreshed, the band then hit the booze shop on the way back to the studio where they worked until 3 AM.

A year or so before the trip up to Ashcroft, Dustin met and started playing with Del Cowsill. Up until then Dustin’s longtime guitar player Adam Dobres and him had been piecing together different bands for various gigs always searching for a Heartbreakers or a Crazy Horse. Del’s knack for harmony singing, bass playing and being a complete encyclopedia of music from the 60’s made for the perfect fit. Pat Steward joined the band on the road and they played for the next year as “The Outfit” and the sound of The Dustin Bentall Outfit emerged. The other desire Dustin had for Six Shooter was to have Luke Doucet dueling guitars with Adam. It just so happened that Luke was traveling from Edmonton to Colorado the week The Outfit were recording and while Ashcroft may not be the geographical midway point between those two destinations, it was a certain providence that Luke found himself in the desert for a few days. When the dust settled, the tracks were sent down to Vancouver to Steven Drake to mix and Six Shooter was born.
Hailing from Vancouver, BC, and spinning songs by Neil Young, The Band, Bob Dylan, John Prine, Tom T. Hall, The Beatles, Wilco and Steve Earle, Dustin has found the heart of that music and placed it under his own landscapes. His father, Barney is approaching legendary status in Canadian rock circles and has let the boy grow up to build his own strengths. He just dropped hints but didn’t crack any whips. The release of “Streets With No Lights” and the accolades that followed took Dustin on many a tour across the Trans-Canada Highway down to Nashville and over-seas to Denmark and Ireland, opening shows for Kathleen Edwards, Blue Rodeo, Sam Roberts and Matt Mays along the way. Besides penning his own songs, Dustin has co-written with some of Nashville’s finest songwriters, Mother Mother’s Ryan Guldemond, Vancouver troubadour Cameron Latimer and Canadian Country Music up and comer Ridley Bent. One of his songs with Ridley “Nine Inch Nails” holds the honors of 2008’s Country Song of the Year with the Ind - Killbeat Music


In the dog days of high summer in 2008, Dustin Bentall and his Outfit set off for the desert town of Ashcroft, British Columbia to record the follow up to Dustin’s 2007 debut “Street With No Lights” with Johnny Ellis at his studio, Nashcroft Manor. Ashcroft rests on the banks of the Thompson River and was a stopping point during the gold rush with a hopping saloon. The sound of trains is ever present with CP Rail running up and down the west bank and CN on its eastern bank. The haunting sounds of these trains serendipitously bled into the recordings of songs like the lead track “Railroad” or instance and the view from the various tracking rooms was either of the garden, which grew the bulk of the food they would eat while up there, or the desert hills and the river itself.

Every day the band would get up at noon, hang out for an hour and a half, and go down into the studio where they worked for an hour or so until the mercury climbed over 40 degrees C in the studio. Then they all piled into the back of the pickup truck and headed down to the river. There is a certain elbow in the river that the locals know about and it is one of the most spectacular spots on the face of the earth. Once the truck is parked you cross the railroad tracks, and you step out onto the surface of the moon. A quarter mile walk along a psychedelic wash of river rocks takes you to where the river takes a right angle turn. Now you have to understand that the Thompson River is one of British Columbia’s 5 biggest rivers. This is no creek running through the farm and the ride puts any amusement park to shame because once you dive in you are instantly racing at 20 miles an hour down the mighty Thompson. You can open your eyes underwater as you are screaming along over top of the riverbed and you feel like a 100 year old sturgeon. Rejuvenated and refreshed, the band then hit the booze shop on the way back to the studio where they worked until 3 AM.

A year or so before the trip up to Ashcroft, Dustin met and started playing with Del Cowsill. Up until then Dustin’s longtime guitar player Adam Dobres and him had been piecing together different bands for various gigs always searching for a Heartbreakers or a Crazy Horse. Del’s knack for harmony singing, bass playing and being a complete encyclopedia of music from the 60’s made for the perfect fit. Pat Steward joined the band on the road and they played for the next year as “The Outfit” and the sound of The Dustin Bentall Outfit emerged. The other desire Dustin had for Six Shooter was to have Luke Doucet dueling guitars with Adam. It just so happened that Luke was traveling from Edmonton to Colorado the week The Outfit were recording and while Ashcroft may not be the geographical midway point between those two destinations, it was a certain providence that Luke found himself in the desert for a few days. When the dust settled, the tracks were sent down to Vancouver to Steven Drake to mix and Six Shooter was born.
Hailing from Vancouver, BC, and spinning songs by Neil Young, The Band, Bob Dylan, John Prine, Tom T. Hall, The Beatles, Wilco and Steve Earle, Dustin has found the heart of that music and placed it under his own landscapes. His father, Barney is approaching legendary status in Canadian rock circles and has let the boy grow up to build his own strengths. He just dropped hints but didn’t crack any whips. The release of “Streets With No Lights” and the accolades that followed took Dustin on many a tour across the Trans-Canada Highway down to Nashville and over-seas to Denmark and Ireland, opening shows for Kathleen Edwards, Blue Rodeo, Sam Roberts and Matt Mays along the way. Besides penning his own songs, Dustin has co-written with some of Nashville’s finest songwriters, Mother Mother’s Ryan Guldemond, Vancouver troubadour Cameron Latimer and Canadian Country Music up and comer Ridley Bent. One of his songs with Ridley “Nine Inch Nails” holds the honors of 2008’s Country Song of the Year with the Ind - Killbeat Music


Judging by the world-class alt-country vibe of Streets With No Lights, it's evident that Papa Bentall raised himself one heckuva talented son, a sharp-eyed songwriter with a wonderfully earthy voice. Beats me where the Northerner acquired that Steve Earle drawl, but it suits him just fine. Bentall wrote nine of the 10 tracks on Streets, and from the twangy, shit-kickin' title track that opens the disc right on through to the haunting, fingerpicked closer, “Blackie”, there's nary a loser in the bunch. Check out the budding superstar at the Blarney Stone on Wednesday (July 26), before Streets With No Lights illuminates his path to worldwide fame. Steve Newton, The Georgia Straight (Vancouver) - The Georgia Straight


“The Vancouver-born-and-raised son of Canadian roots rocker Barney Bentall weighs in with a remarkably mature country-folk CD packed with rustic originals - that betray a deep devotion to the great songwriters of an earlier time, more than a passing acquaintance with the cowboy raunch of Corb Lund, and a real spark of individuality. The lyrics reveal exceptionally vivid and personal tales of discovery, wonder and disenchantment, and the voice has an appealing ring, somewhere between a lonesome whine and a rough bark. He's clearly in for the long haul.” Greg Quill, The Toronto Star - The Toronto Star


“Out of nowhere comes fresh-faced Dustin Bentall with a set of simple, well-penned alt-country treats. With street-smart lyrics and a whiskey-rough voice far beyond his 20 short years, the album has enough range and twang to hang together as a wholly satisfying piece of work. Bentall (yes, Barney’s son) whips together just the right combination of foot-stompers and tear-jerkers to keep things interesting. From the freight-train chug of the title track to the delicate cover of Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young’s “Helplessly Hoping,” his well-polished band are right on the money, making this disc an all-round impressive debut. You’d be well advised to hitch your dusty trailer to this bandwagon” Rachel Saunders, Exclaim! (National) - Exclaim Magazine


“Dustin Bentall’s Streets With No Lights feels like the slightest breeze drifting through the open desert, providing the slightest relief from a sun that’s burning down hot from above. Bentall and his band have a sound that’s sparse, yet the terrain it covers is wrought with peril.. At times, Bentall’s mix of rock and country recalls Neil Young, Gram Parsons and Steve Earle, but he finds his own voice in that mix, both lyrically and musically.” Eden Munro, Vue (Edmonton) - Vue Magazine


Dustin Bentall’s debut CD Streets with No Lights will remind you of many artists (you decide who), yet he sounds like none. It is a collection of songs that speak of a bright-eyed beginnings and a final truth that isn’t always rosy. The CD is a nice mix of tearjerkers and quick-paced foot-stoppin’ tunes, and lyrics depicting a lust for life with all its trials and tribulations: boozin’, heartbreak and life on the cold lonely road. The more you listen, the more you like. Anna Stitski, Scene And Heard (Toronto) - Scene & Heard


Discography

Streets With No Lights (2006)

Photos

Bio

** NEW RECORD COMING OUT THIS YEAR **

“I can’t call myself a cowboy because I have yet to jump off a horse at full gallop to wrestle a steer to the ground like some of my buddies. That is the only thing left on my list for dying happy”
This quote says a lot about Dustin Bentall. The boy has packed a lot of living into his twenty two years and intends to color the rest in without much concern for going over the lines. The Americana roots flavors and thick honest whiskey howl of his voice turn this first collection of story songs into true self-portraits. Dustin’s music is full of beautiful scars that are described for you through bleary eyes. The recordings ring with campfire integrity and an uncompromising lust for life.
“For the most part the songs are all true stories. I’ve always envied those who can make up stories for songs. I can’t do that very often or very well. Whether living out in the country, downtown, uptown, across town, or on the road I’ve always enjoyed living as various alter-egos or in parallel lives so to speak. I love to meet people from all walks of life so I can relate in as many situations as I may end up in. Most importantly I like to keep my own life colorful. That’s all I got and I don’t like grey.”
Dustin hails from North Vancouver BC and it seems an unlikely place to nurture such a rustic troubadour. It seemed like an unlikely country for Rick Danko, Robbie Robertson, Garth Hudson, Richard Manuel or Neil Young to be from… until people took a closer look. Up here you’ll find as deep a frontier spirit and hard luck charm as any nation. You’ll find a reverence for the tales of everyday life and loss and you’ll find a lot of people who have time to woodshed and learn their craft. Spinning songs by Young, the Band, Bob Dylan, John Prine, Tom Petty, and Steve Earle Dustin found the heart of that music and placed it under his own landscapes.
“The narcotic cowboy thing definitely comes from my love for cosmic American music. I got into Gram Parsons and never looked back. “GP/ Grievous Angel” was the first time I ever sat down listened to a record and thought, holy shit! music can sound THAT good. And that there are songs out there that are THAT good. I found it so beautiful, honest, true and real. I had always listened to tons of Dylan growing up and loved it. I listened over and over in my room because I understood the music and it made me feel good …but with GP I had to listen to it over and over just to figure out why I new that this is the kind of music I wanted to create. Though I know I stray further from tradition than he would perhaps, there’s still a coat of Gram Parsons Primer underneath it all somewhere.
As I learned more about his short life I identified with the fact that he just did things the way he wanted. This has always been a classic source of inspiration for young writers in any genre.. The kids love an icon that doesn’t give a shit. But his music just touched me in a way that I want to touch people with my music. I’d tell you about the narcotics in me but I don’t have time to write a book.”
There have been a few “elder wise men”, that have been there to drop a hint or two to Dustin. His father, Barney is approaching legendary status in Canadian rock circles and has let the boy grow up to build his own strengths. He just dropped hints but didn’t crack any whips.
“There’s no question I’ve learned more from him than anyone else in the world. He never pushed the guitar on me but was always there to answer any questions I had and leave the actual learning up to me. I spent a few years wishing he had, but nowadays I have come to realize that the style I have developed has been a product of my own chosen influences. The old man proved over and over that he can kick the shit out of any crowd and I’ve always been really proud of that and hoped that it’s written in the DNA.”
It is part of his DNA. Then there’s the learned part. He sounds older than his twenty two years because his songs speak with wisdom about his youthful experiments with immortality.
“A two month pleasure cruise across the country in a ‘69 impala in the summer of ‘04 certainly inspired all kinds of writing . . . everything from opening my eyes up to what this beautiful country has to offer, to spitting out teeth with the front end of the car on my lap just three hours from home. That was a slap in the face, pun intended, telling me to spend the rest of my life the way I want to spend it.”