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Ryan Bingham Mescalito Review

Album. Released 2007.  

BBC Review

Bingham will be one of the names to drop in 2008, with an album that it sounds as if...

Daryl Easlea 2008

Already making waves since its US release last autumn, here's a very pleasant surprise to get 2008 underway. After releasing self-financed records such as Lost Bound Rails and Wishbone Saloon, the 25-year-old Texas-born western troubadour steps up with his major label debut. When that major label is Lost Highway, with its track record of never-less-than-interesting signings (and home to another talented Ryan), you know that you are in for something special.

Photogenic, with a great story to tell, Bingham has worked with former Black Crowes guitarist Marc Ford as producer. Together they have crafted an emotional work that begs repeated listening, full of tall tales from Bingham's iterant upbringing on the west Texas/New Mexico border. There is little question that Bingham has actually lived the life, spending years on the rodeo circuit, sleeping rough and pitching up at barrooms with his acoustic.

Influenced by Bob Dylan, Marshal Tucker and Bob Wills, the music can’t help but echo these great performers, but Bingham adds his own distinctive flavour, with his whiskey and smoke vocals. Mescalito updates the western swing format perfectly for the 21st century. The rough-hewn emotional blues of "Don’t Wait For Me", the atmospheric "Southside Of Heaven", the stomping "Bread And Water" and the mariachi-influenced "Boracho Station" demonstrate why Bingham will be one of the names to drop in 2008, with an album that it sounds as if it's been unearthed from 1972.

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