Thankful for Ryan Bingham

Photo by Sally PetersonRagged, raw and unflinchingly honest, the music of Ryan Bingham & the Dead Horses hits WinStar World Casino for what promises to be a wallop of a show on Friday. It’s the perfect antidote to wake you from that turkey coma and mind-numbing day of Black Friday shopping.

The Texas native’s gritty vocals and world-weary songs belie a hardscrabble past that transcends his 30 years. Perhaps it’s the inevitable product of years spent riding bulls on the rodeo circuit. During that time, Bingham broke both legs, a hand, a wrist and worse.

But success over the past few years hasn’t dulled his sensibilities one bit. In 2009, he earned an Oscar, Golden Globe and Grammy for his contributions to the movie “Crazy Heart” -- particularly Bingham’s track, “The Weary Kind.” The film, which also fetched an Academy Award for star Jeff Bridges, introduced Bingham to an entirely new sort of audience.

Other artists might have used the occasion as an opportunity to compromise in pursuit of greater commercial riches. Not Bingham.

“When there are a lot of people around saying, ‘Look, you have to capitalize on this and do something really commercial,’ you might think about it for a second,” Bingham admits.

“But at the end of the day, there’s not a chance in hell I could do that. It made me sick to my stomach just thinking about it. I couldn’t get up in front of people and play a bunch of stuff that didn’t mean anything to me.”

We’re grateful for many things this Thanksgiving. Ryan Bingham’s music is among them.

13 comments (Add your own)

1. Crystal wrote:
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