Ryan Bingham: “Flower Bomb”
All of a sudden, Ryan Bingham has become a household name, and with good reason. The Texas singer-songwriter performed two songs in the movie Crazy Heart, including “I Don’t Know,” and the theme song, “The Weary Kind,” both of which were collaborations with the esteemed producer T-Bone Burnett. But 2010 proved to be an even better year for Bingham: he was awarded the Golden Globe for Best Original Song for “The Weary Kind” at the 2010 Golden Globe Awards, and the song went on to win Best Original Song at the 82nd Academy Awards.
On top of all this, Bingham has released four stunning albums, each one better than the last. 2010′s Junky Star placed as high as #2 on the country charts, and the album also featured his more rock-oriented side via his rollicking band, the Dead Horses. Even amidst the cranked-up amps, Bingham’s songwriting chops shine through as he tells his tales about the down-and-out.
This year’s Tomorrowland is another grim portrait of our contemporary times, but Bingham is singular in his ability to inject his dark songs with nobility. He recently stopped by KUT’s Studio 1A with just an acoustic guitar which afforded him the opportunity to strip his ballads down to their bare essentials. The setting made it easier to latch onto the incisive lyrics of “Flower Bomb,” a particular highlight from Tomorrowland. A line like “They tell us up in heaven there is food to eat/ But for now all you’ve got is what’s left on the street” is delivered unadorned, made all the more powerful by Bingham’s weary croak.