Ryan Bingham

Last updated
Ryan Bingham
Ryan Bingham - Jacksonville FL - 2010.jpg
Bingham performing in Jacksonville, 2010
Background information
Birth nameGeorge Ryan Bingham
Born (1981-03-31) March 31, 1981 (age 38)
Hobbs, New Mexico
Genres Americana, [1] roots rock [2]
Occupation(s) Musician, Actor
Instruments Vocals, guitar
Years active2006–present
  • Axster Bingham Records
  • Lost Highway Records
Website www.ryanbingham.com

Ryan Bingham (born George Ryan Bingham on March 31, 1981) is a Grammy Award, Academy Award, and Golden Globe Award winning, American singer-songwriter, whose music spans multiple genres. [3] [4] He is currently based in Los Angeles, California. [5]

Grammy Award Accolade by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences of the United States

A Grammy Award, or Grammy, is an award presented by The Recording Academy to recognize achievements in the music industry. The trophy depicts a gilded gramophone. The annual presentation ceremony features performances by prominent artists, and the presentation of those awards that have a more popular interest. The Grammys are the second of the Big Three major music awards held annually.

Los Angeles City in California

Los Angeles, officially the City of Los Angeles and often known by its initials L.A., is the most populous city in California, the second most populous city in the United States, after New York City, and the third most populous city in North America. With an estimated population of nearly four million, Los Angeles is the cultural, financial, and commercial center of Southern California. The city is known for its Mediterranean climate, ethnic diversity, Hollywood, the entertainment industry, and its sprawling metropolis. Los Angeles is the largest city on the West Coast of North America.


As of 2019, Bingham has released six studio albums and one live album, the last four of which were released under his own label, Axster Bingham Records. [6] [7] [8] [9]

Originally from Hobbs, New Mexico, Bingham grew up all across the Southwestern United States. He set out on his own at an early age, joining the rodeo circuit as a bull rider in his teens. [10] Bingham learned music on a guitar gifted to him by his mother at age 16, initially playing after rodeos for his friends. [11] Eventually, he began playing in small bars and honky tonks across the West, landing him in Los Angeles, California. Bingham signed his first record deal with Lost Highway Records (UMG) in 2007. [12]

Hobbs, New Mexico City in New Mexico, United States

Hobbs is a city in Lea County, New Mexico, United States. The population was 34,122 at the 2010 Census, increasing from 28,657 at the 2000 census.

Rodeo competitive sport

Rodeo is a competitive sport that arose out of the working practices of cattle herding in Spain, Mexico, and later Central America, South America, the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. It was based on the skills required of the working vaqueros and later, cowboys, in what today is the western United States, western Canada, and northern Mexico. Today, it is a sporting event that involves horses and other livestock, designed to test the skill and speed of the cowboys and cowgirls. American style professional rodeos generally comprise the following events: tie-down roping, team roping, steer wrestling, saddle bronc riding, bareback bronc riding, bull riding and barrel racing. The events are divided into two basic categories: the rough stock events and the timed events. Depending on sanctioning organization and region, other events such as breakaway roping, goat tying, and pole bending may also be a part of some rodeos.

After receiving critical acclaim for his first two studio releases on Lost Highway Records, 2007's Mescalito and 2009's Roadhouse Sun , Bingham went on to collaborate with Grammy-winning producer T Bone Burnett on the soundtrack for the 2009 acclaimed film Crazy Heart , including notably co-writing and performing the film's award-winning theme song, "The Weary Kind". The title track earned Bingham an Academy Award, Golden Globe Award, and Critics' Choice Award for "Best Song" in 2010, [13] as well as a Grammy Award for "Best Song Written for a Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media" in 2011. [14] The Americana Music Association also honored Bingham with the organization's top award in 2010 as "Artist of the Year". [15]

<i>Mescalito</i> (album) 2007 studio album by Ryan Bingham

Mescalito is the first studio album by American country rock singer/songwriter Ryan Bingham, released in 2007 through Lost Highway Records and produced by Marc Ford.

<i>Roadhouse Sun</i> 2009 studio album by Ryan Bingham & The Dead Horses

Roadhouse Sun is the second studio album by Ryan Bingham & The Dead Horses, it was first released on June 2, 2009 by Lost Highway Records.

T Bone Burnett American musician

Joseph Henry "T Bone" Burnett III is an American record producer, musician, and songwriter. Burnett rose to fame as a guitarist in Bob Dylan's band during the 1970s. He has received multiple Grammy awards for his work in film music, including for O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000) Cold Mountain (2004), Walk the Line (2006), and Crazy Heart (2010); and won another Grammy for producing the studio album Raising Sand (2007), in which he united the contemporary bluegrass of Alison Krauss with the blues rock of Robert Plant.

Bingham’s most recent album, American Love Song , was released on February 15, 2019. "Wolves", off American Love Song was inspired in part by the March For Our Lives students who were dealing with grown men and women questioning their integrity on social media. [16] The song was also featured on the hit TV series Yellowstone. [17] Bingham sang "Wolves” as the series’ character, Walker, whom he plays on the show. [18]

American Love Song is the sixth studio album by American singer-songwriter Ryan Bingham. It was released on February 15, 2019 on his own label Axster Bingham Records.The album was co-produced by singer-songwriter Charlie Sexton.

In April 2019 Bingham partnered with Live Nation (events promoter) to launch his own music festival, The Western. The inaugural event took place over two days in Luckenbach, Texas. [19]

Live Nation is an American events promoter and venue operator based in Beverly Hills, California. Formed in 1996 by Robert F. X. Sillerman as SFX Entertainment, the company's business was built around consolidating concert promoters into a national company. In 2000, the company was sold to Clear Channel Communications for $4.4 billion, and operated as Clear Channel Entertainment until 2005, when it was spun off as Live Nation.

Luckenbach, Texas Place in Texas, United States

Luckenbach is an unincorporated community thirteen miles (19 km) from Fredericksburg in southeastern Gillespie County, Texas, United States, part of the Texas Hill Country. Luckenbach is known as a venue for country music.

Early life

Bingham was born in Hobbs, New Mexico. His family relocated to the Midland–Odessa area of West Texas, before eventually moving to Houston, Texas. He attended high school primarily in Houston at Westfield High School.

Bingham's mother purchased his first guitar when he was 16-years-old. Although he was fascinated by music, he left his guitar dormant in his closet. Roughly a year later, Bingham hitchhiked back west to Laredo, Texas, in hopes of landing a job with his Dad, carrying the guitar with him on the trip. Bingham's father enjoyed having neighbors over on their porch to drink beer, and one of them taught him a classical Mariachi song called "La Malaguena" in segments. Though he loved playing the song, it was the only one he would learn during his time in Laredo.

He relocated to Stephenville, Texas. There, he began learning more music while also riding on the rodeo team at Tarleton State University. It was in Stephenville that he would write arguably his most well-known hit "Southside Of Heaven" in a trailer house. He also began to play local gigs there, namely a local golf course and a few small bars.

While in Stephenville, Bingham had a friend that caught wind of a job in Paris, France, with the "Wild West Show" at the Disney Resort. He bought a one-way ticket with $100 in his pocket. Upon arrival, he was informed that the manager he had a mutual friend with was no longer with the company, and he found himself stranded with his guitar and old riggin' bag from his rodeo days. Luckily, he found some friends-of-friends within the Disney programs and began playing music in local parks for tips.

Eventually, he saved enough money to get back to Texas and moved in with a rodeo buddy near Fort Worth, Texas. His friend had a brother (Matthew "Papa" Smith) that cut hair during the day and played drums as a hobby. After an introduction and impromptu gig at an empty bar in Fort Worth, he and Papa would go on to be the founding members of Ryan Bingham and the Dead Horses. [20] Marc Ford of the Black Crowes was one of the few people in the bar that night. He approached Ryan after the gig with an offer to record an album. [21] [22]


After issuing self-released "Wishbone Saloon" and "Dead Horses", the latter distributed by Lone Star Music, Bingham was signed to Lost Highway Records, who issued his first major label debut with Mescalito on October 2, 2007, produced by former Black Crowes guitarist Marc Ford. Texas Music Magazine has opined that "Bingham talks and sings with a whiskey-and-cigarette throat that screams hard living. Hard in a way that can make a 29-year-old sound like a 50-year-old Tom Waits." [23] Bingham spent several years on the rodeo circuit: He began bull riding in his late teens. [24] [25]

Bingham's former band, The Dead Horses, was composed of Matthew "Papa" Smith (drums), Corby Schaub (guitar and mandolin) and Elijah Ford (bass). The bass player on Mescalito was Jeb Stuart. They appeared alongside Bingham with the Drive-by Truckers on the PBS show Austin City Limits in October 2007. The first single from Mescalito, entitled "Southside of Heaven," was released on November 30, 2007. The second single was entitled "Bread and Water."

On June 2, 2009, Ryan Bingham and The Dead Horses released their second studio album titled Roadhouse Sun via Lost Highway Records. It was once again produced by Marc Ford.

Ryan Bingham from his 2009 release - Roadhouse Sun Ryan Bingham - Roadhouse Sun Image.jpg
Ryan Bingham from his 2009 release - Roadhouse Sun

Bingham performed two songs for the soundtrack of the movie Crazy Heart , including "I Don't Know," and the theme song, "The Weary Kind." The song was co-written by Bingham and producer, T Bone Burnett. Bingham also played a small role in the film as Tony. On January 17, 2010, Bingham was awarded the Golden Globe for Best Original Song for "The Weary Kind". The song also won the 2010 Academy Award for Best Original Song, [26] [27] the 2010 Grammy award for Best Song Written for a Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media, [28] as well as Song of the Year at the 9th Annual Americana Music Association awards. [29]

Bingham joined back up with his band the Dead Horses to release their third studio album, Junky Star , on August 31, 2010. The album debuted in the Top 20 on the Billboard 200 Chart [30] & in the Top 10 on the Billboard Rock Album Chart, [31] making Junky Star Bingham’s highest charting and most successful release to date.

In 2012, Bingham parted ways with the Dead Horses and record label Lost Highway Records to release his fourth studio album, Tomorrowland , on his own Axster Bingham Records label. [32] Bingham co-produced the album with musician/producer Justin Stanley. The first single released from Tomorrowland was "Heart of Rhythm." Both the single and the official lyric video debuted on Americansongwriter.com on July 30, 2012. [33] Bingham’s second Tomorrowland single "Guess Who’s Knockin" debuted on Rollingstone.com on September 6, 2012. [34] The official music video for "Guess Who’s Knocking" premiered on Pastmagazine.com October 4, 2012. [35]

In 2013, Bingham's song "For Anyone's Sake" appeared in the closing credits of the feature film Joe , starring Nicolas Cage. Bingham wrote the song for the film, the song was released as part of the film's original soundtrack in April 2014. [36] [37] In the same year, Bingham also wrote and recorded "Until I'm One With You", the theme song for FX TV drama series The Bridge . The song is Bingham's first screen track since his Academy Award win for best theme song in 2010. "Until I'm One With You" was released as a digital single on Bingham's own Axster Bingham Records label on June 25, 2013. [38]

In 2014 Ryan Bingham starred opposite Imogen Poots in the independent film "A Country Called Home," directed and co-written by his wife, Anna Axster. Bingham also wrote and recorded the film's title track "A Country Called Home," the song was released digitally through Bingham's own label, Axster Bingham Records, on May 6, 2016. [39]

Bingham's fifth studio album "Fear And Saturday Night" was recorded mostly live at Plyrz Studio outside of Los Angeles, California. [40] The album was co-produced by Jim Scott and released through Axster Bingham Records on January 20, 2015. The album's first single "Radio" was released on December 9, 2014. In a 2016 interview with Rolling Stone magazine Bingham shared, "'Radio' is a song I wrote about the thoughts, memories, and emotions that roll through my mind. The radio that's constantly playing in your head, night and day." [41]

On August 6, 2016, Bingham recorded his first live album, "Ryan Bingham Live" (Axster Bingham Records), at Whitewater Amphitheater in New Braunfels, Texas. The album was released on October 21, 2016. The entire Whitewater Amphitheater show was also filmed and streamed live by Amazon Music. [42]

Bingham released a song titled "Back By the River" on "The Musical Mojo of Dr. John: A Celebration of Mac and his Music," in 2016. [43]

In 2018–2019, Bingham has a guest role in the contemporary Western television show, Yellowstone , as Walker, the itinerant ranch hand. [18] [44]

In December 2018, Bingham announced that he would be releasing his sixth studio album American Love Song in February 2019.


Bingham has appeared as a guest on Bob Harris's Country Show on the BBC's Radio 2. Daryl Easlea, writing for the BBC's folk and country review, said: "Bingham will be one of the names to drop in 2008, with an album that sounds as if it's been unearthed from 1972." [45]

Ryan Bingham & Joe Ely - Antone's during SXSW 2008 - Austin, TX. Ryan Bingham Ron Baker 3.jpg
Ryan Bingham & Joe Ely - Antone's during SXSW 2008 - Austin, TX.

Rolling Stone magazine gave Mescalito three out of five stars and wrote that Bingham "earns his sepia-toned album cover with a dusty wood-and-steel sound, and despite being twenty-five, sings like Steve Earle's dad." [46]

PopMatters review of Tomorrowland awarded the album with 8 out of 10 stars. Greg M. Scwartz, writing for PopMatters wrote, that “The one-time pro rodeo rider turned Texas troubadour has blues, country, and Americana influences that are certainly still there. But at his core, Bingham has always been a rock ‘n’ roller and Tomorrowland features him rocking at his best.” [47]

Tomorrowland was also reviewed by Nico Isaac from Paste (magazine). Isaac wrote: “Tomorrowland is like a good, ol’ fashioned rock anthem of kiss-my-asschaps autonomy… One thing's for sure Tomorrowland- the album and the red-blooded, rattlesnake-eating rebellious attitude—is no place for the weary kind.” [32]

Personal life

Bingham currently lives in Los Angeles, California, with his wife Anna Axster, who also directed his music videos. [48] [49] He announced at his performance in Austin, Texas, on March 5, 2015 that he and his wife were expecting their first child in the summer of 2015. Bingham's song "Broken Heart Tattoo" from Fear And Saturday Night is a reflection about what he would like to say to his unborn child. [50] Ryan's mother drank herself to death and his father committed suicide. Bingham's "Never Far Behind" from his "Tomorrowland" album is about his parents. [51] [52]


Studio albums

TitleAlbum detailsPeak chart positions
US Country




Mescalito 37
Roadhouse Sun
  • Release date: June 2, 2009
  • Label: Lost Highway
  • Formats: LP, CD, music download, streaming
Junky Star
  • Release date: August 31, 2010
  • Label: Lost Highway
  • Formats: LP, CD, music download, streaming
  • Release date: September 18, 2012
  • Label: Axster/Bingham
  • Formats: LP, CD, music download, streaming
Fear and Saturday Night
  • Release date: January 20, 2015
  • Label: Axster/Bingham
  • Formats: LP, CD, music download, streaming
Ryan Bingham Live
  • Release date: October 21, 2016
  • Label: Axster Bingham
  • Formats: LP, CD, music download, streaming
American Love Song
  • Release date: February 15, 2019 [59]
  • Label: Axster Bingham
  • Formats: CD, music download, streaming
"—" denotes releases that did not chart

Extended plays

TitleAlbum detailsPeak positions
US Country
iTunes Live: SXSW
  • Release date: March 18, 2011
  • Label: Lost Highway Records
  • Formats: CD, music download


YearTitlePeak positionsAlbum
US Country Digital
US Bubbling
2010"The Weary Kind"1116 Crazy Heart (soundtrack)
"Depression"Junky Star
2012"The Wandering"
2013"Until I'm One with You" [38] N/A
2014"Broken Heart Tattoos" [62] Fear and Saturday Night
"Radio" [63]
2015"Hands of Time" [64]
"—" denotes releases that did not chart

Music videos

2007"Southside of Heaven"Anna Axster
2008"Bread and Water"
2009"Country Roads"
2010"The Weary Kind"Danny Clinch
2012"Heart of Rhythm"Anna Axster
2012"Guess Who's Knocking"Anna Axster
2015"Radio"Anna Axster


2009 Crazy Heart Tony Academy Award for Best Original Song
Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song
Grammy Award for Best Song Written for a Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media
Las Vegas Film Critics Society Award for Best Original Song
World Soundtrack Award for Best Original Song Written Directly for a Film
2015 Your Right Mind Cowboy's Brother
2017 Hostiles Sergeant Malloy
2018–2019 Yellowstone Walker

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