By Twyla Twang
April 1, 2019
Opening for Bingham is The Americans, a Los Angeles based band. From The Americans’ website: “The Americans perform original rock & roll with deep roots in traditional American music. They have performed on the Late Show with David Letterman, twice joined Grammy and Oscar winner Ryan Bingham on national tours, and played the first dance at Reese Witherspoon’s wedding. They have backed up Nick Cave, Tim Robbins, and Lucinda Williams.” This is a show not to be missed!
If that expansive and nebulous umbrella of “Americana” is sourced from blues, roots-rock, country, gospel and R & B, then Ryan Bingham’s new release, “American Love Song,” qualifies as classic Americana. Each listen reveals layers of Elmore James’ grease and grit, Dylan’s wordsmithing and the Stones’ country honk. Released in February, journalists from Rolling Stone Country, The Boot and Billboard have raved about the raw, authentic sound of Bingham’s first release since 2015’s “Fear and Saturday Night.” His stop at Lincoln’s Bourbon Theatre will give us an opportunity to experience the bull-rider-turned-rocker’s electrifying live performance.
Bingham’s early life challenges provide an abiding appreciation for the success he has achieved. His parents’ struggles led their early demise via alcoholism and suicide. With utmost grace, Bingham compassionately stated in Rolling Stone, “My parents were good people. They got into a bad spot and didn’t know how to get themselves out of it.”
He bounced from New Mexico to Texas, rode some bulls along the way and ultimately landed in L.A. One of his breaks came at a gig with 4-5 people attending; one of those people was Marc Ford, lead guitarist for The Black Crowes. Their collaboration moved Bingham from a solo acoustic act to a full-blown rocker, with Ford producing Bingham’s first two albums, “Mescalito” (2007) and “Roadhouse Sun” (2009).
Although Bingham reports his writing process is done in solitude from remote locations, he’s not exactly lazing about stream-side in a hammock between albums. Collaborating and co-writing “The Weary Kind” with T-Bone Burnett for the movie “Crazy Heart” won him an Academy Award, a Grammy, a Golden Globe and a Critic’s Choice award for “Best Song” in 2010. Since then, he has released four albums, established and maintained a successful acting career, appearing in “A Country Called Home” and “Hostiles,” the latter reuniting Bingham with “Crazy Heart” director Scott Cooper. He also currently has a reoccurring role in Paramount network’s series “Yellowstone.” Regarding his acting, he told Billboard’s Country journalist Melinda Newman late last fall, “I enjoy acting because it is very different from songwriting and it allows me to flex a different creative muscle.”
In addition to his performance careers, he is also producing his own music festival, “The Western,” April 12-14, outside of Austin. Bingham’s vision for this inaugural gathering is to recreate the times when playing music was more intimate sitting around a campfire. Headliners include Old 97’s, The Americans, Jesse Dayton, Colter Wall, Elizabeth Cook, Jamestown Revival and of course, Ryan Bingham.
Doors open at 7 p.m. with music starting at 8 p.m. Wednedsay at The Bourbon,
This tour has sold out across the country, so my money’s on hitchin’ up your ride and gettin’ there early!
Twyla Twang hosts “HonkyTonk Hereoes” every Friday, 9-10:30 p.m. on KZUM.