LA-based, singer-songwriter Ryan Bingham might be one of the least recognizable Golden Globe, Critic’s Choice Award, Academy Award and Grammy award winners ever. Bingham stacked up his long list of awards for co-pinning “The Weary Kind”, the theme song to the film Crazy Heart.  After such accolades, it would seem that Bingham would find himself on musical easy street with monster record deals. Instead, Bingham has stayed true to his spirit but also left his fan base and critics shaking their heads with his last couple of albums, which were perhaps too dark and too brooding.

With his latest, Fear and Saturday Night, Ryan decided it was time for a fresh start. He parted ways with his record label, Lost Highway, and his backing band, The Dead Horses, and retreated in an Airstream and set base in rural LA to focus on writing. The result is his best effort since his sophomore album.

Ryan is self aware and expels his demons on the open track, “Nobody Knows My Trouble”.  His voice is as gritty as ever, but the songs are tighter and more focused.  On “Broken Heart Tattoos”, he sings to his unborn son telling him “he is unborn and not scared with Tattoos”.  It is honest and heartfelt and probably the best track on the album.

There are still some swampy southern rockers like “Top Shelf Drug” and “Hands of Time” as well as the fantastic “Radio”, which feels like vintage Ryan Bingham. The end result is a beautiful American album that puts Bingham back on track as one of the best young singer-songwriterstoday.

Fear and Saturday Night is out now and can be purchased at iTunes and Amazon.

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Ryan Bingham

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