Ryan Bingham may have recently lit up the awards charts, capturing three coveted Hollywood honors including a 2011 Grammy for his song “The Weary Kind,” but in his Billings debut the well-dressed mountain man with the grizzled voice of gold was right at home amongst the PBRs (of the pro bull riding kind and kind that comes in a tallboy), cowboy hats, and bra-chucking women.
Bingham himself was once a rodeo circuit rider, and discussed briefly onstage his fortune to move on without serous injury. Setting off on his own, leaving the drug-addicted parents behind him, Bingham began a music career he couldn’t quite predict. It wasn’t but two years ago Bingham played to a half dozen people at Bozeman’s Filling Station. By noon the day of his Feb. 28 Billings performance, the not-quite-30-something had sold out all 800+ seats at the Babcock Theatre.
The southwestern musician opened with “A Dollar a Day,” moving right into in “Depression” from his third major label and latest release, “Junkie Star.” With The Dead Horses behind him, Bingham rollicked through a howling two-hour set, each song eliciting dance parties and sing-alongs. From his sharp, stinging acoustic to the robust resonations of his hollow-body electric guitar, Bingham’s talents were proven onstage, his gravelly rasp at times channeling Dylan, other times eliciting comparsons to the likes of Steve Earle and Towns Van Zandt. When he donned the harmonica, the ladies swooned, the men hollered.
“We’re getting warmed up now,” Bingham said more than once in the night, urging the crowd to stomp their feet while gingerly hanging a couple of tossed bras on guitarist and mandolin player Corby Schaub.
Binghan’s lyrics describing tattoos and chains, strippers in stilettos, and the likes propelled his rogue, black-hearted persona, but in his sweet onstage grins there was only an air of honesty and hand-forged talent.
To close his set, Bingham brought onto stage opener Liam Gerner, the blonde afro-donning Australian guitarist, who jammed with the Dead Horses to Towns Van Zandt’s “White Freight Liner.”
After wrapping, Bingham received a resounding demand to return to the stage, and his three-song encore included “The Weary Kind,” (co-written with T-Bone Burnett), the song that nabbed Bingham a Grammy, Golden Globe and an Academy Award from the motion picture “Crazy Heart.”
Ryan Bingham and the Dead Horses show nears sell-out
(published on: Feb 24, 2011)
With little promotion, aside from the marquee on the Babcock Theatre in downtown Billings, Ryan Bingham and the Dead Horses’ performance on Monday, February 28 has already proved to be hugely successful.
Originally slated for the Railyard, the concert sold out in just less than a week. Due to overwhelming demand, promoters decided to move the Academy Award winning musician’s gig to the Babcock, which holds neart three times more patrons. Less than 100 tickets are left, and with Bingham’s sold out shows in Seattle and Portland this weekend, as well as his sold-out performance in Boise on Tuesday, there’s no doubt Bingham-buzz has reached the west.
Ryan Bingham received his first Academy Award for “The Weary Kind,” his hauntingly beautiful theme song produced with T. Bone Burnett for the acclaimed film Crazy Heart. Following to such high-profile attention, the 29-year-old Texan singer/songwriter has gone about his business, albeit to an much larger fan base. He continues to tour on his grizzled vocals and fierce guitar skills, showcasing a musical career as ripe with promise as a sober Steve Earle.
The show this Monday begins at 9 p.m. with opening support from Liam Gerner. Tickets are available in advance for $18 plus applicable fees at the Rimrock Mall, Ernie November, by phone at 800-514-3849 or online at www.1111presents.com. All tickets purchased for the Railyard show will be honored at the Babcock Theatre.