Only a spits distance from Texas and barely boasting over 30,000 residents lies Hobbs, New Mexico, the hometown of country singer Ryan Bingham. Now hear me out and keep reading. I'm no big supporter of country music and I once heard from an opera major that those who failed in singing end up as country singers. Talk amongst yourselves. I would dare to define Ryan Bingham as a country singer. Due to his rooted melodies, raw voice and lack of a "produced" sound, I'd call him a great example of the Americana format. In case you're not familiar with the loosely defined Americana genre, think country with some more rock and roll, folk and stompin' blues influences all meshed together. Yes, it is a cousin or step brother of country. On we go...
Ryan Bingham is to blame for many Boulder Sunday-goers staring at me this past weekend. Driving next to bagel shops and coffee hangouts early Sunday morning, my Subaru was blaring his sounds with windows rolled down for the world to share my excitement. Bingham spent time as a stereotypical country bumpkin competing in rodeos on top of the bare back of a bull. According to Wiki, his songs are remnants from the rodeo life and his fractured family that moved around the New Mexico and Texas plains for most of his childhood. During my research of what little there is out right now about Bingham, I was most taken aback by the great quotes people have already stated about this 27 year-old artist.
"Bingham talks and sings with a whiskey-and-cigarette throat that screams hard living. Hard in a way that can make a 25-year-old sound like a 50-year-old Tom Waits." - Texas Music Magazine
"Bingham will be one of the names to drop in 2008, with an album that sounds as if it's been unearthed from 1972." - BBC Folk and Country Review
"earns his sepia-toned album cover with a dusty wood-and-steel sound, and despite being twenty-five, sings like Steve Earle's dad." - Rolling Stone
Binghamn's 2007 album, Mescalito, is out now on Lost Highway Records. If you dig raw Ryan Adams, Stoll Vaughan, classic Earle, Rev. Peyton's Big damn Band, Wilco and Bragg on Mermaid Ave...you're in for a two-course dessert. His first single was "South Side of Heaven" followed by my favorite, "Bread and Water." (video here)
Ryan Bingham - Bread and Water