Ryan Bingham needed some peace and quiet. Free of the burdens that had saddled him during the writing and recording of his recent albums, he relocated to an old airstream trailer tucked away in the mountains of California, camping out for several weeks and embracing the solitude to dig down deep and craft his most powerful album yet, Fear and Saturday Night.
Bingham was actually in the back of a van in North Dakota when he wrote The Weary Kind, a song that became the centerpiece of the 2010 film, Crazy Heart, starring Jeff Bridges. It earned him an Academy Award, a Golden Globe, and a Grammy, and skyrocketed him into the spotlight. Amidst the incredible success, though, was tragic loss behind the scenes that few knew about. There were positive changes in his life during that time, too, including his marriage, which serves as a frequent well of inspiration on Fear and Saturday Night, particularly on tracks like Snow Falls In June and Top Shelf Drug, a Stones-esque rocker that's bound to become a live favorite.
Bingham never really set out to be a musician, though. His mother bought him a guitar when he was 16 years old, and a neighbor taught him a mariachi tune. When he grew tired of playing the only song he knew, Bingham began penning his own music, discovering the writing process to be a therapeutic coping mechanism for dealing with the tumultuousness of his upbringing. His first performances were informal affairs in the backseats of cars with friends on the way to rodeos, where he was competing professionally on the weekends. Every now and then, Bingham's friends would convince him to break out the guitar in a bar, and before he knew it, he had more gigs playing guitar than riding bulls.
Those hard-learned lessons, through both good times and bad, helped make Bingham the man he is today. Fear and Saturday Night is the most authentic, personal, and deeply moving portrait of that man we've heard yet.
Following a solo-acoustic show in London earlier this year, and the release of his brand new album Fear and Saturday Night, Ryan Bingham returns to the UK for a full band tour in October.