Saturday, February 02, 2008

Ryan Bingham - "Mescalito" cd review

Ryan Bingham - Mescalito
(Lost Highway)
Jan 7 2008

This is the real deal. So many middle class singer-songwriters pretend they grew up in west Texas, shuffling from bar to bar, swigging tequilas and living hard - but Ryan Bingham did. Growing up in the ranching communities near New Mexico and earning a living through riding Rodeos he's cut from the same blue collar cloth as Bruce Springsteen.

Ryan started playing at bars and his authenticity quickly led him to become a live sensation. Before signing to Lost Highway he was already booked for exclusive Hollywood parties. Released in the US in 2007 to rave reviews Bingham finally gets his European airing.

Mescalito, Bingham's debut, record was produced by Black Crowes guitarist Marc Ford who wisely chose to put Ryan's voice up front. He sings with a similar rasp to Stereophonic's Kelly Jones. The 14 songs are mostly upbeat, acoustic guitar numbers with some fantasitc slide guitar and pedal steel solos. There are moments of bluegrass, banjo and Rolling Stones flavoured blues (Take It Easy Mama). He's been dubbed the legitimate heir of Woody Guthrie and Hank Williams and the stomping "Bread And Water" and mexican tinged "Boracho Station" live up to the billing. It's delightfully anachronistic with its 70s Americana. Worth repeated listens.

For fans of: Drive By Truckers; Ryan Adams; Gram Parsons
Download: Bread and Water; Don't Wait For Me
Rating: 8/10

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