Saturday Night: Ryan Bingham At House Of Blues
Ryan Bingham is the kind of musician you can't help but love. The music he and his band play is infectious, and his scratchy vocals make all their songs sound as if years of heartache and bad luck were poured into them. Mix all that emotion with a pack of Marlboros (or maybe a pinch of dip) and a bottle of Jack, and you've got yourself one hell of a show.
Saturday night at a sold-out House of Blues, Bingham and his band the Dead Horses leapt around the stage for an hour and a half, serenading the crowd, which swooned, jumped about and even two-stepped the night away, all while spilling beer all over themselves and us.
The Oscar- and Golden Globe-winning singer-songwriter has had a place in our hearts for a while now, since we heard "The Weary Kind" on the soundtrack to 2009's Crazy Heart, the much-lauded film about an alcoholic country music star seemingly on his last legs.
Bingham's style is similar to the likes of Bob Dylan and Johnny Cash, because when he sings about hardship, the sincerity in his voice makes audiences not only believe him, but feel the emotion behind it. While he's only 29, his voice is so scruffy, earnest and gut-wrenching, you might think he's in his 50s upon first hearing him.
The music Bingham writes has heart, sweat and tears poured into it. And not just his own, either. When asked about his lyricism in interviews, Bingham has always made mention of how much he travels, everything he and his band witness and his attempt to write music about (and for) the people he sees and meets.
His songs are about hardship, but they always sound as if there's a glimmer of hope in the not-too-far distance.