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Musicians Zach Ryan and Benjamin D. Hale prepare a ‘Wild’ Vegas return

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Ryan, left, and Hale both call Nashville home these days.

It’s not every day you can catch a former local indie-scene mainstay at the Smith Center, but on December 9 you’ll be able to catch one performing there—alongside a second Vegas ex-pat. Singer-songwriter Zach Ryan, once the frontman for Vegas outfit The Rooks, will team with Benjamin D. Hale, who played Johnny Cash in Million Dollar Quartet at Harrah’s, to present Wild, Restless and Blue inside Cabaret Jazz theater.

The show will explore American roots music, ’50s rock ’n’ roll and stories the two have gathered on their travels. Both currently live in Nashville. “For the last year or so, I’ve spent a good deal of time traveling around playing the guitar, and Ben is the same way,” Ryan says. “[Wild, Restless and Blue] is a way for us to chronicle the stuff we’ve gone through.”

Ryan says the show was inspired by film noir, likening it to a David Lynch production. It will feature a full band, guest vocalists and theatrical monologues, with appearances by a few Million Dollar Quartet cast members. Ryan and Hale will perform originals and covers, drawn from an upcoming EP and an in-progress debut album, respectively.

“I’m so thankful to go back to Vegas and be working strictly in music,” Ryan says about his return. “That’s initially why I left Las Vegas, because I felt I couldn’t gain a footing as a working musician. I’m excited.”

Zach Ryan & Benjamin D. Hale December 9, 7 p.m., $25-$45. Cabaret Jazz at Smith Center, 702-749-2000.

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Leslie Ventura is a staff writer at Las Vegas Weekly and Industry Weekly. She’s picked the brains of rock stars ...

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