DUSTIN BENTALL & THE SMOKES
Saturday, February 23rd, 2013
Doors: 7:00pm / Curfew 10:00pm (Early Show)
With Lingi Ortega.
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 Bentall, 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 Independent Music Awards of North America.
Stepping out of the desert and with the Thompson still drying on their skin The Dustin Bentall Outfit have been hitting the road and the air from 2010 through to 2012.
Tickets: Advance $20.00 + s/c - Available at Lyle's Place, Ditch Records and TicketWeb.ca.