TONIGHT: Ryan Bingham and the Dead Horses @ Tipitina’s

@ Tip's Tonight - Photo courtesy of Amoeba Music

Thanks to Matt Hart for the guest contribution

Living in New Orleans we are exposed to a wide array of roots music. This exposure stems not only from the brass, jazz and funk music which permeates our streets but also from the native music of the neighboring states to our East and West. While the Mississippi blues acts have established a home in New Orleans alongside our indigenous favorites, we are often limited to experiencing the Texas acts as they head out towards the east coast on tour.

Tonight at Tipitina’s we have the chance to see one of the predominant Texas musicians on the alternative country scene. Bingham caught on nationally after his contributions to the Crazy Heart soundtrack won him the Oscar for “Best Original Song.” However, the story behind Bingham goes back much further than the Oscars. Bingham’s gravelly voice aptly compliments the story of his first 29 years. Having grown up to a broken family along the border in New Mexico, Bingham left in his late teens to join the Midwest rodeo circuit. After learning guitar from a neighbor, he began entertaining others on the rodeo circuit while they partied after shows. He soon began making more money from guitar than riding and switched his career focus. Signed to the famed Lost Highway Records, he released his first album in 2007.

I have always been drawn in by performers who can sing, write, and play lead guitar and Bingham can do all three quite well. His lyrics remain inspired by his own travels without falling too far back on the tired themes of drifters and hard times. His songwriting has continued to progress by providing more experimentation with tone while granting us reprise from the G-C-D based songs of mainstream country top 40 radio. But if there is one area where Bingham shines it is in his live shows. His shows move seamlessly from electric driven riffs (“Sunshine”) to rolling pick acoustic and mandolin centric songs (“Tell My Mother I Miss Her So”). This versatility allows him to present a dynamic show on a level that most artists today are not capable of.

Following in the footsteps of Austin legends like Willie Nelson, Townes Van Zandt, and Stevie Ray Vaughan, Ryan Bingham has chosen to forge his own path rather than build on the legend of his predecessors. While one can try to fit him into the mold of one of these legends, it would be a disservice to try to put him in one of these boxes. His lyrics and melodies can carry a solo acoustic show like Townes, and his electric guitar work at ACL 2010 reminded of Stevie Ray Vaughan. While still developing and growing as an artist, it is clear that Bingham has moved out of the shadows of his predecessors and into the limelight. Don’t miss tonight’s performance at Tipitina’s. Tickets are $18 in advance and $20 at the door.

March 22, 2011 |  by  |  News
About the author

Wesley grew up in coastal Georgia and is a former resident of The Music City and The Big Easy where he helped get LMB NOLA off-the-ground after launching in January 2011. Over the past few years, he has also contributed steadily to JamBase and Relix Magazine. Recently, Hodges moved on to L.A. where Abita Beer is hard to find, costs about $6 if located and impromptu parading in the streets will most likely get you arrested on the spot.

 
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