John Mann performs with barney Bentall and Jim Byrnes for the first time together as part of a tour that brings them to the Vernon Performing Arts Centre’s for its 13th Birthday Bash

John Mann performs with barney Bentall and Jim Byrnes for the first time together as part of a tour that brings them to the Vernon Performing Arts Centre’s for its 13th Birthday Bash

Concert features B.C. legends

John Mann forges ahead to perform with Barney Bentall and Jim Byrnes despite diagnosis of early onset Alzheimer’s disease

Fans will have something to live for when three of B.C.’s prominent and lasting musicians grace the Vernon Performing Arts Centre for the first time together, Sunday, Sept. 28.

Here to be a part of the centre’s 13th Birthday Bash, Barney Bentall, Jim Byrnes and John Mann, who have more than 25 albums, multiple Juno Awards, and countless tours between them, will perform an engaging mix of their music, from folk to roots to rockin’ blues.

The concert comes on the recent news that Mann, front man of B.C. party band Spirit of the West, has been diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s disease.

Hot off the heels of his most recent album release, The Waiting Room, Mann, 51, made his diagnosis public through a statement published Sept. 8.

When reached by the Performing Arts Centre on behalf of The Morning Star, Mann said that he was not feeling up to doing interviews at this time, however, in his public statement, he said that he didn’t want to spend any more energy trying to hide his symptoms and will continue to make music and do shows, with the aid of an iPad to help him with the lyrics.

“I will continue to write and tour, because this is what I do and what I love,” he said.

Mann also recognized his bandmates from Spirit of the West for their support.

“My Spirit of the West band mates have circled me with care and we will forge ahead as we’ve been doing the last 30-some odd years with humour and friendship, playing our hearts out,” he said.

On stage with Mann will be legendary singer-guitarist Bentall, who with his band, The Legendary Hearts, has recorded several platinum singles including Something to Live For, House of Love (is Haunted), and Come Back to Me as well as five gold and platinum albums.

After a 10-year hiatus from music, where he raised cattle on his ranch in Clinton, Bentall re-launched his career as a solo artist performing his unique blend of blues, folk and rock, and also leading the Grand Cariboo Opry throughout B.C.

Byrnes’ history goes back to his days growing up in one of the homelands of the blues, St. Louis, Mo. He began playing music at the age of five, and start

ed singing and playing blues guitar at 13.

Over the course of his 50-year career as a musician, Byrnes has amassed considerable recognition for his talents. He has received four Maple Blues Awards, three Juno Awards, two Canadian Folk Music Awards, and a Western Canadian Music Award for his solo albums, and has been inducted into the B.C  Entertainment Hall of Fame.


Many also know him as an actor who has appeared on too-numerous-to-mention TV and movie roles, highlights including television’s Wiseguy and Highlander series, and his national variety show The Jim Byrnes Show.

Tickets for Bentall, Byrnes and Mann are $40 for adults, $37 for seniors, and $35 for students. To purchase tickets, call the Ticket Seller at 250-549-7469 or get them online at www.ticketseller.ca.