I Used To Not Care About Ryan Bingham


Alright, I’ve got a confession to make. Two, actually. Number one: This is probably the very first Ryan Bingham album that I’ve ever sat with, considered, and listened to front-to-back. Two: I’m at least eight Lone Star Lights into the evening, so I’m not sure if this will sound like a rant, a confession, a washing machine, or some kind of combination of the three. If so, good. If you don’t like reading rambling, you might want to go read something more structured, written by a professional. With editors. And deadlines. And no Lone Star Light. You know, the kind of stale shit that reads like a press release.

I know there’s a lot of bleeding hearts out there for Ryan Bingham, & a lot of people who laud him for a plethora of reasons that I never really got. I mean, I haven’t been in a cave. I’ve heard Bingham’s songs for several years. I dabbled with Roadhouse Sun. I never really traced back to Mescalito. I flat-out ignored Junky Star & Tomorrowland. I’m not sure if that makes me someone who’s just being honest, or if that makes me a dick for admitting it, but I just won’t say that I’ve ever been a very interested, devoted, or observant fan. Go ahead. You can chastise me if you’d like. But I’m not sure that my non-involvement in his fandom has anything to do with Ryan Bingham. I don’t know him. I don’t really know his songs. I don’t know his story. I was involved with a bunch of other things and a bunch of other music when he put those other records out. All of my unknowing of Bingham stems more from my distraction than from any disliking of his music. Timing & whatever.

And (since timing is everything) when this record came out, I had nothing going on & got to devote some well-deserved attention to it. I got to approach it from a little different place than some of his more worn & weathered fans. And I love whenever I get to do that. That’s the only reason I’m even writing this. Getting to experience an offering from someone who’s been around like it’s a new album, from a totally new person, fresh on the scene? I think that’s the best way to approach a new piece of work from anyone. Unfortunately, you don’t always get to do that because you usually have some kind of history with a seasoned artist’s music. I don’t have much of a jumping off point for any of Bingham’s work, so my opinions on this record aren’t grounded anywhere in the past. They’re only grounded in the album that I’m listening to now. Which is great.

I won’t sit here & type that it’s groundbreaking or that it’s going to change the world, mainly because I think hyperbole like that is a bunch of garbage. I’m just glad to hear a solid album full of good fucking songs from anyone, to be honest. And this is just that. An album of great songs. From start to end. Great lines, great hooks, great music, it’s got all that. It feels produced enough, but still jagged enough around the edges. It stays just loose enough that it feels like it might come unraveled at any point, and it’s accessible. The subject matter is familiar to anyone listening. And I feel that relatability is probably the single-most indicator of staying-power when we talk about music, at least to me. And I think this album has that staying power.

I’ve taken probably 20 listens to the album, straight-though, and my favorites thus far are Top Shelf Drug, a rocker disguised as a tender love song, wrapped in an addiction metaphor… Adventures of You and Me, a Tex-Mex love-gallop through the USA about two hearts with an unending, unyielding quest for fun… And the title track, Fear and Saturday Night, a haunting dirge of a waltz through a lonesome individual’s rituals involving his weekend plans. And shit, Snow Falls in June is pretty damn good too. It’s an album full of songs that are reflectionary & thoughtfully told by someone who seems to be settling in to a nice even keel. That doesn’t mean it’s boring. Not every album has to be a “game changer” or any other bullshit nouns people like to throw around. Good songs make good albums. Good albums should be thought about, enjoyed, & respected. Because (in my opinion) albums that are good, from start to end, are becoming harder & harder to find.

This was a short review. I guess it really wasn’t a “review”. I just don’t have a whole lot to say about something that can speak for itself. If you’d like a more proper dissection of the album, I’m sure you can Google it. As for me, I’m just glad that I finally got it. Glad that I finally got what everyone dug about Ryan Bingham. Glad that I’ve got a new album in my iTunes that I can shuffle over to when the radio’s all jammed up with trash. Glad for someone who’s putting some effort into making good songs & strong albums. That’s it. Hell, it’s Wednesday night & I’m going to town…

Chris King

Chris King is a songwriter currently residing in Austin, TX.

21 thoughts on “I Used To Not Care About Ryan Bingham

  • January 29, 2015 at 8:22 am

    Great review, gig em! Around 2009, I found myself also in that distracted mode when it came to Mescalito. Gave it the old college try and it became one of my top 20 faves of all time. Hope this record brings you closer to it!

  • January 29, 2015 at 8:54 am

    You should go back and spend some time with “Mescalito”. I know opinions are like assholes, but I put “Mescalito” right up there with Hayes Carll’s “Trouble in Mind” as one of the more significant albums to come out in the past decade or so. You’re only cheating yourself by not giving it a listen.

  • January 29, 2015 at 9:06 am

    Right on, I”ll look into it. And Gig ‘Em right back at’cha!

  • January 29, 2015 at 9:08 am

    That’s funny. I think I’m probably in the minority on this, but I think Hayes’s ” KMAG YOYO” record is way better than “Trouble In Mind”. But right, exactly… opinions & whatnot. I’ll probably dig back into “Mescalito” sometime. Just want to make sure I give it a proper listen when my mind’s right & whatnot. Thanks to both of y’all for reading the post. Really appreciate it!

  • January 29, 2015 at 11:34 am

    The songs on “Trouble in Mind” spoke to me much more than “KMAG YOYO”, but the musicianship and production on KMAG YOYO is probably above that of Trouble in Mind. They are both very good albums, for sure. “Mecalito” and “Trouble in Mind” came out around the same time; and I listened to both pretty regularly at the time – that’s probably why I brought it up.

  • January 30, 2015 at 1:57 am

    I loved Mescalito when it came out. Awesome album. I have bought all of Ryan’s albums since then, and all have been solid, but none have quite lived up to that one. Haven’t gotten to this one yet, but will soon.

  • Pingback: Another #BrokebackWeenie Episode Tiddy Bits | Rawhide And Velvet

  • Pingback: The Best Things We Said in 2015 | Galleywinter

  • October 3, 2018 at 11:50 pm

    Hello there I am so thrilled I found your blog page, I
    really found you by accident, while I was researching on Askjeeve for something else,
    Nonetheless I am here now and would just like to say
    many thanks for a tremendous post and a all round enjoyable blog (I also love the theme/design),
    I don’t have time to read it all at the minute but I have book-marked it and also included your RSS feeds, so when I have
    time I will be back to read a lot more, Please do keep up the awesome work.

  • October 6, 2018 at 3:35 pm

    Spot on with this write-up, I honestly believe
    this site needs a lot more attention. I’ll probably be
    back again to see more, thanks for the info!

  • October 8, 2018 at 8:44 pm

    Hey there! I know this is kinda off topic nevertheless I’d figured I’d ask.
    Would you be interested in exchanging links or maybe guest authoring a blog
    article or vice-versa? My blog covers a lot of the same topics as
    yours and I feel we could greatly benefit from each other.

    If you are interested feel free to send me an e-mail. I look forward to hearing from
    you! Awesome blog by the way!

  • October 9, 2018 at 10:43 pm

    As I web site possessor I believe the content material here is rattling great , appreciate it for your efforts. You should keep it up forever! Best of luck.

  • October 11, 2018 at 8:33 am

    We’re a group of volunteers and opening a new scheme in our
    community. Your site offered us with valuable info to work on. You have done an impressive job and our whole community will be
    grateful to you.

  • October 14, 2018 at 11:44 pm

    I just want to mention I am beginner to weblog and really loved your blog. More than likely I’m going to bookmark your site . You really come with excellent posts. Thanks a lot for sharing with us your blog.

  • October 15, 2018 at 7:04 pm

    It is actually a great and useful piece of information. I’m satisfied that you just shared this useful info with us. Please keep us informed like this. Thank you for sharing.

  • October 16, 2018 at 4:32 pm

    I’ve read some just right stuff here. Definitely price bookmarking
    for revisiting. I wonder how a lot effort you
    set to make such a excellent informative website.

  • October 17, 2018 at 12:15 am

    You made some good points there. I did a search on the issue and found most persons will approve with your site.

  • October 17, 2018 at 10:17 pm

    As I website possessor I believe the content material here is rattling magnificent , appreciate it for your hard work. You should keep it up forever! Good Luck.

  • October 21, 2018 at 10:25 pm

    Great tremendous issues here. I¡¦m very satisfied to peer your post. Thank you so much and i’m having a look forward to contact you. Will you please drop me a e-mail?

  • October 21, 2018 at 11:41 pm

    I wish to express my appreciation for your kind-heartedness in support of those people that must have assistance with in this study. Your personal dedication to passing the solution all over was astonishingly informative and have continually empowered professionals like me to arrive at their targets. Your invaluable advice means so much a person like me and still more to my fellow workers. Regards; from each one of us.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.