Sunday, September 5, 2010

Ryan Bingham - Junky Star

The new release from Ryan Bingham, "Junky Star" came out this past Tuesday.  I've played it a couple of times and damn if it don't sound like Ryan Bingham.  His voice sounds so much more road worn than his age.  I mean that in a really good way.

A few years back he released the excellent Mescalito which featured the track "Southside of Heaven" which is a killer and had me hooked from the get go.

Last year Ryan wrote and performed the Oscar winning song "The Weary Kind". I had originally lumped him in with a bunch of other alt-country, Texas type artists but his work on the soundtrack for Crazy Heart signaled much more depth. I began to think he might be in it for the long haul

Now comes Junky Star. I may need to really play it a few more times but initial thoughts are most definitely positive. The record has a nice, comfortable acoustic sound, but the lyrics bite. Depression is a great example of how far he has come as a songwriter. This tackles some tough territory and his raspy vocals sound like they carry the dirt straight out of the dust bowl.

Hallelujah is an ominous murder ballad from the point of view of the victim. This is not breezy pop music folks. Death and pain make more than a few appearance on the album.

Ryan Bingham continues to grow and refine his songwriting. He keeps getting better and has one of the most emotional (to me) vocals out there. Check our Junky Stary, you won't be disappointed.

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