Recap by Twyla Twang
Photos by Jay Douglass
April 4, 2019

Straight up at 8 p.m., The Americans took the stage for Wednesday night’s near-capacity crowd at the Bourbon Theatre.  The four-piece rock band from Los Angeles did just what they came to do: get folks ready for Ryan Bingham!  Moving from straight ahead rock and roll to a rockabilly sound, The Americans played a strong 45-minute set ending with “I’ll Be Yours.”  You can’t go wrong when you can catch the resonance of stand-up bass being bowed.

With a timely 9:15 p.m. start and sharply attired in a white hat and red, white and blue embroidered shirt, Bingham sauntered out as the band ripped into “Nothin’ Holds Me Down.”  Scanning across the stage, the searing lead guitarist was none other than Jesse Dayton. These two LA-by-way-of-Texas-raised pals go way back and they are still bringing it! Dayton’s mean slide work provided the perfect grit to Ryan’s bluesier tunes like “Got Damned Blues,” “Lover Girl” and “Top Shelf Drug.” Although he’s touring his new album American Love Song and played most of its cuts, Bingham also treated the Bourbon crowd to selections from his older catalogue including “Southside of Heaven” from Mescalito (2007) and “Tell My Mother I Miss Her So” from 2009’s Roadhouse Sun.

Bingham’s brief solo acoustic set provided a glimpse of his foundational strength as a singer/songwriter.  Speaking to the crowd he said, “no matter how far you run from your s*%t, it’s still with you, right in your back pocket.” The broad grin from the crowd’s enthusiastic response let him know he connected to all of us. A moving “Nobody Knows My Trouble” followed.  When the band returned to the stage they finished the night with a couple more tunes and closed with a powerful “Bluebird.”

Feb. 1 marked the monthly first Friday art walk that brought visual art, live music and more to downtown Lincoln and across the city. Check out shots from events at Tugboat Gallery, The Aliens, Gallery 23, Ill of Cups, Red Eye and more.

View all photos on KZUM's Flickr

Twyla Twang hosts “HonkyTonk Heroes” on KZUM every Friday from 9 to 10:30 p.m. Jay Douglass is a photo contributor.