Saturday, 2 April 2011

The Evening's Anthem: Ryan Bingham - Southside of Heaven

Next up we have Mr Ryan Bingham, and his superb opener to his 2007 album 'Mescalito'. This album saw Bingham step up to mainstream success, with the backing of Nashville based (and home of another musician named Ryan) 'Lost Highway Records'.

Unlike a number of his peers Ryan Bingham is a man who has actually lived by all thclich├ęs associated with being a country musician -  being homeless, working on rodeos, sleeping rough and just generally living a hard life full of knocks. This authenticity comes across in his songs, and is worn in to the very fabric of his lyrics. 

This song is Bingham's plea for a place of peace. His statement is that the romanticised life of the troubadour is not everything that it would seem from the outside; and of how he pines for a safe and stable place to call home. These heartfelt lyrics coupled with Bingham's gruff voice, the voice of a man twice the age of the 30 year Texan - or as Rolling Stone put it 'like Steve Earle's dad'. The exquisite finger picking guitar and mandolin alongside the windswept harmonica solos create a truly atmospheric song.

                   'Well I've been a desperado in West Texas for so long Lord I need a change.
                                For ten long years this old place ain't seen a drop of rain.'

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