STORY WRITTEN BY BRIAN BINGAMAN
@brianbingaman on Twitter
Ryan Bingham hasn’t had the time to unpack his Grammy, Oscar and Golden Globe trophies that he won for the song “The Weary Kind” from the movie “Crazy Heart.”
The 34-year-old Americana/alt country singer recently became a father to a bouncing baby girl, and he and his wife, Anna, are still unpacking boxes from their move to California.
“When my first record came out in 2007, public radio and WXPN really supported it,” Bingham said. His “Fear and Saturday Night” Tour comes to the TLA Jan. 31.
Prior to that album, “Mescalito,” Bingham was a professional rodeo rider. He said that the rodeo circuit “shaped my music and shaped my life.”
“It prepared me for going on the road as a musician — jumping in a vehicle with your friends and driving down the road,” he said.
Bingham’s social media following is noteworthy — 37,700 Twitter followers and 137,000+ likes on Facebook. “Most people are pretty respectful (interacting with me on social media). They’re not so much interested in our personal lives; it’s more about the music,” he said.
Yet from the sound of it, audiences are still getting to know “Fear and Saturday Night” — Bingham’s fifth album — a year after its release. The raspy-voiced singer says he understands that some people still have yet to absorb it. He suggested playing it in the car during a road trip. One of the standout tracks is “Broken Heart Tattoos,” a reflection for his daughter, who was still in-utero when he wrote it.
The reason for Bingham’s patience? “People have been requesting songs from an album (Bingham put out in 2012) called ‘Tomorrowland.’ Maybe it’s had some time to grow on them,” he said.
His song “Until I’m One With You” is the theme for the FX TV show “The Bridge.” “Actually, I haven’t played that song live,” said Bingham, explaining that he tends to keep the more personal songs that appear on his albums in a separate category from his more cinematic score and soundtrack compositions, that are written from a certain character’s point of view. “It comes in small batches,” he said of penning songs for films. “I do enjoy it all. It’s a different approach to writing songs.”
Bingham’s wife is a film school graduate, and has directed most of his music videos. He said that he appears in her upcoming independent film “A Country Called Home,” and has written some songs for it as well. The release date is March 1. The “A Country Called Home” Kickstarter page describes it as “a film about forgiveness, family and navigating the blurry lines between being an adult and growing up.”
Parting ways with Lost Highway Records in 2012 to become an independent artist, Bingham isn’t afraid of having to work harder to get his music heard. “You only get what you put into it. At the end of the day, nobody cares about it more (than) me and my wife,” he said.