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Editors’ Notes

Texas singer/songwriter Ryan Bingham possesses a voice as parched and pitted as the landscapes his lyrics describe. The songs on his major label debut Mescalito (2007) convey the same sort of grim fatalism and smoldering romance that pervades the novels of Cormac McCarthy. Though classified as a maverick country artist, Bingham seems as much inspired by the blues-rock of the Beggar’s Banquet-era Rolling Stones as by Hank, Willie or Waylon. Such labels don’t really matter, tough. What counts is that the music here has a genuine feel, chronicling America’s wide open spaces from the bottom up. Mescalito works as a complete narrative, though certain tracks stand out — “Boracho Station” (a Spanish ballad of cracked loveliness), “Long Way from Georgia” (a drifter’s weary lament) and “Sunshine” (a rollicking, nearly delirious number). Bingham manages a rough-hewn love song with the almost-funky “Take It Easy Mama,” but more typical are lonesome highway sketches like “Ever Wonder Why” and “Ghost of Travelin’ Jones.” Marc Ford’s production and instrumental touches avoid extraneous polish. Bingham may be a relative youngster, but Mescalito bears the mark of a well-seasoned artist with an ageless road story to tell.

Customer Reviews

The Real Deal

Ryan Bingham is the real deal. One of the few artists about whom you can say his album does his live show justice. Put it on when you're cruisin' down the highway with the windows down and a busted a/c or when you're kickin' back on the porch with a bourbon or a cold beer. Either way, it feels like Ryan is sitting right next to you. Hop on board this train now and before you know it you'll be telling your friends, "I told you so..."

I wish I could buy a few shares of Bingham stock

I first heard Ryan Bingham and Dead Horses playing in an opening slot to an empty room in Minneapolis earlier this year -- and I was completely floored. While it seems an album could never replace a Ryan Bingham live show, this album certainly does it justice. He has a refreshingly welcome sound in the over-produced major label arena. He's a perfect fit for Lost Highway and, if he proves he can write and record more than 15 great songs, he could have a long and fruitful career following in the footsteps of Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, and Ryan Adams. Hopefully he and his advisors are smart enough to keep him traveling down that path, because it has the potential to be legendary. My vote for best album of the year.


Bingham reminds me of a young Springsteen with a southern draw. The same throaty voice, the same crisp empowering lyrics. You can feel his pain, his joy, and his passion. When his voice comes through the speakers he takes you on a journey with him through the highs and lows of his life. Hes not just a musician, but a storyteller, the likes of dylan, and the boss. Great stuff.


Born: March 31, 1981 in Hobbs, NM

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Americana singer/songwriter Ryan Bingham was raised in rural Texas, where years of hardscrabble ranch work and rodeo competitions would later lend a sense of authenticity to his music. Living alone since his mid-teens, Bingham shuttled back and forth between Southwestern border towns and relatives' homes, often sleeping in his truck after rodeo shows. It was during those treks that he began entertaining friends with the guitar, an instrument he'd learned at the age of 17 from a mariachi neighbor....
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