Cariboo musicians Dustin Bentall and his father Barney are holding a double-header concert in Clinton this Friday to raise spirits as well as funds for the people of Lytton.
More than 250 people and members of the Lytton First Nation were displaced after a devastating wildfire ripped through their town June 30. With dozens of wildfires burning in the South Cariboo, the Bentalls decided they wanted to bring the community together to offer support.
“We can’t save or rebuild the town with this one concert but we can bring people together and show our support,” Dustin said. “That’s what we can bring to the table right now and that’s what we’re aiming to do.”
The concert series will be held at the Clinton Museum from 4-6 p.m. before moving to Dustin’s backyard at the old Parkies’ Clothing and Variety building, at 1522 Cariboo Hwy., from 7-8:30 p.m. Admission is free but attendees are invited to donate to the Lytton Museum and Archives at the first show or the Savage Society GoFundMe Campaign for the people pf Lytton at the second show. Donations are welcome in person or online via TheShow.Today/Cariboo.
The Bentalls say it’s been a tough year as they haven’t been able to engage with the communities. Now with the wildfires creating uncertainty for everyone, Dustin said he felt it was important to put on a show so people could benefit from the “medicinal properties” of music.
The concert is more of a “spiritual gesture” than anything else, Barney said. When a community like Lytton has been devastated he said one of the most important things you can do is let its people know you’re thinking about them.
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The concerts will feature the Blue Wranglers, a new Clinton-based bluegrass band that includes Bentall, his partner Trixie Berkel on vocals, Bruce Ambler on the banjo and Dan Fremlin on the mandolin. Barney, who has been playing music professionally for 40 years and put down roots in the Clinton area in the late 90s, will join them.
He said he is proud to perform with his son, especially as their musical tastes have both evolved from rock and roll to more western and bluegrass-inspired music.
The two also perform together at the Barney Bentall and the Cariboo Express, an annual event that raises money for the Potluck Cafe Society in downtown Vancouver.
“When people with the same DNA sing together, that’s great. For me, I love watching Dustin’s trajectory as a songwriter,” Barney said.
The two men are excited to be performing live again and will debut two new songs. Dustin will be playing the lead track of an upcoming album called Hope while Barney will be performing a song called Better Days. Dustin said a few of Berkel’s young Clinton music students will also be performing Friday night.
Anyone looking to take part in the show or has ideas for it is asked to reach out to Berkel via firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Everybody is welcome and I hope that we’ll be able to see a bunch of community members of all ages. Everybody has gone through their own challenge through this pandemic and I want people to know if they can support Lytton financially, fantastic. If they can only support them spiritually with their presence that’s equally as valuable,” Dustin said. “There’s no pressure.”