Dustin Bentall brings new EP to Moncton

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