Thursday 17 Apr

Dustin Prinz - Eleven

Few musicians take the time to master their instrument in the way that Oklahoma City singer-songwriter Dustin Prinz has; he’s a guitar virtuoso in every sense of the word, and Eleven gives him the chance to show just how far he can push that skill.
04/15/2014 | Comments 0

Horse Thief – Fear in Bliss

Listening to Horse Thief’s previous release — the haphazardly melodramatic Grow Deep, Grow Wild — felt like a chore. Whatever potential the Oklahoma City folk-pop act demonstrated on the EP was obscured behind a formulaic, contrived and ultimately hollow cloud. But it at least offered a glimmer of promise for a band consisting of, frankly, five pretty talented dudes. Critics saw it; the band’s management saw it; its current label, Bella Union, saw it; and its increasingly fervid fan base saw it.
04/08/2014 | Comments 0

Colourmusic — May You Marry Rich

There’s always a sense of danger when debuting songs in a live setting and playing them well. Without having heard the studio versions, expectations are set according to the live incarnations. But capturing the breadth of free-flowing atmosphere and sheer volume on a disc, vinyl or digital file isn’t the easiest thing to do, especially for a band as vociferous as Colourmusic.
04/01/2014 | Comments 0

Em and the MotherSuperiors — Churches into Theaters

As titles go, Churches into Theaters is an apt descriptor for the debut album from Oklahoma City rockers Em and the MotherSuperiors. It’s a reverential record, one that shares the gospel of classic rock, blues and soul but embraces the need to refashion it for modern times, channeling The Dead Weather, Grace Potter and Cage the Elephant along the way.
03/25/2014 | Comments 0

Rachel Brashear — Revolution

Rachel Brashear’s second EP, Revolution, starts with a kick to the shins.
03/18/2014 | Comments 0
Home · Articles · Music · Music · ‘Weary’ traveler

‘Weary’ traveler

After a tumultuous upbringing, Americana artist Ryan Bingham left home to find himself. In the process, he found a career showered with major awards.

Zach Hale March 13th, 2013

Ryan Bingham with HoneyHoney
7 p.m. Thursday
Diamond Ballroom
8001 S. Eastern

Ryan Bingham’s backstory is, like his music, unassuming and rugged — a modern rags-to-riches tale, or Rocky with a little more tumbleweed.

Having endured a childhood devoid of parental guidance, financial stability or even, at times, a place to call home, his rise to prominence was nothing if not improbable.

“It definitely seems like the days and months are going by a lot faster than they used to,” Bingham said. “One day, I was sitting on the couch wondering what I was going to be. The next thing I know, I’m writing songs with T-Bone Burnett and Stephen Bruton.”

Out in West Texas, where Bingham was raised, roots-rock champions like Burnett and Bruton are about as revered as biscuits and gravy. While Bingham was certainly aware of — and a fan of — the music that defined the region, his talents weren’t unearthed until later than most in his profession.

This was understandable, given the precarious nature of his upbringing. Bingham’s family could never settle anywhere; his father took oil-field work wherever he could find it; and their home, no matter its location, became stricken with infighting and drug addiction.

But it was a birthday gift that drastically altered the course of his life, although he had no idea at the time.

“My mother bought me a guitar when I was about 16 and I didn’t know how to play or anything. It just kind of sat around in the closet for about a year,” he said. “Once I picked up the guitar and started playing and making music, it became something I didn’t even really think about — just something I did every day.”

Tired of being the new kid in every small town he landed, he dropped out of school and left home in search of his true self, working odd jobs and even trying his hand at bull riding. Music became a refuge of sorts, culminating in a series of self-produced albums with his band, The Dead Horses, and performances at small clubs across the region.

A few breaks and one decade later, the 31-year-old Bingham is a chart-topping singer/songwriter with a Grammy, a Golden Globe and an Academy Award to his name, all for “The Weary Kind,” which he performed and co-wrote with Burnett for the 2009 Jeff Bridges drama, Crazy Heart.

Ultimately, Bingham’s music — specifically his latest album, Tomorrowland — is a reflection of the uncertainty and turmoil he’s endured: weathered, modest and a little outside his comfort zone.

“That’s part of rock ’n’ roll. It’s not always going to be perfect and polished,” he said. “I’m a little rough around the edges personally, so my music should be that way as well. But I always wonder what it’s gonna be like years from now, if I’m gonna be writing songs in a different way. There’s always so much new material and new things out there to experience and learn that things always keep evolving.”

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