Album review: Ryan Bingham’s ‘Fear and Saturday Night’


Ryan Bingham Fear and Saturday Night

Three and a half stars

Although he’s still best known in the mainstream for co-writing the Oscar-winning “The Weary Kind” from 2009’s Crazy Heart, singer-songwriter Ryan Bingham has been releasing the kind of ragged, soul-baring Americana embodied by Crazy Heart protagonist Bad Blake since his 2007 debut. Fear and Saturday Night, Bingham’s fifth album, dials back a bit on the sprawling arrangements of 2012’s Tomorrowland, but it’s still casual and intimate, characterized by Bingham’s raspy voice and deeply personal lyrics. He’s best on the more low-key, understated songs, like opener “Nobody Knows My Trouble” and tender love song “Snow Falls in June,” but he also excels at evoking The Rolling Stones (the fuzzy bar-rock of “Top Shelf Drug”), The Black Crowes (soaring ballad “Island in the Sky”) and even John Mellencamp (accordion-drenched rave-up “Adventures of You and Me”). Like Bad Blake, Bingham is a world-weary journeyman, playing roots music that’s equally comforting and fragile.


Josh Bell

Josh Bell is the film editor for Las Vegas Weekly, where he's been writing movie and TV reviews since 2002. ...

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