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Wednesday, 22 May 2013 12:00

Ryan Bingham 5/22/2013 + Video

Ryan Bingham 5/22/2013 Kelsey McClure
Written by Liz Taylor
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  • Date Recorded: May 22, 2013
  • Artist / Band: Ryan Bingham
  • Hosting Show: Wax Lyrical
  • Sound: Dan Kinney
  • Video: Ed Kleinberg

There's something strangely appealing about hearing a scratchy, jagged voice growling from the depths, beautiful in its discordance. Ryan Bingham exudes this unique pull on listeners while pushing a rough-and-tumble aesthetic, complete with a nice edge you can really sink your teeth into.

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In the grand tradition of other notable gravelly-voiced rockers, like Tom Waits, Bingham digs deep into the messy emotional terrain of bluesy rock. His ragged crooning goes a long way toward providing the requisite gravitas inherent to the many genres his work straddles, including old-school country western, blues and folk rock.

At this stage in his musical development, Bingham sounds paradoxically raw and polished. Some of his newer work feels epic in scope as he journeys on, ever the tragic musician full of anger, but not without hope. He is perhaps best when at his most romantic. There is something refreshing about his open and honest take on love in a troubled world and it's stripped of the empty sentiment so endemic to more mainstream country fare.

Make no mistake though; Bingham is at his core a rock and roller. Parlaying years spent playing bars and working in the rodeo, Bingham turns hardscrabble existence into a rarified art form. Despite becoming an Oscar-winning songwriter for his work on the movie "Crazy Heart," his foundational days of artistic struggle seem to remain the most significant force in his music.

All photos by Kelsey McClure.

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