Ryan Bingham & The Dead Horses ‎– Roadhouse Sun



Day Is Done 4:25
Dylan's Hard Rain 4:33
Tell My Mother I Miss Her So 3:45
Country Roads 3:47
Bluebird 5:03
Snake Eyes 4:39
Endless Ways 3:55
Change Is 7:19
Rollin Highway Blues 3:50
Hey Hey Hurray 3:13
Roadhouse Blues 3:30
Wishing Well 3:58

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February 8, 2015
referencing Roadhouse Sun, CD, Album, B0012739-02

When I first stumbled across Ryan Bingham, he’d been living out back of this roadhouse in New Mexico [or perhaps it was west Texas, it's tough to tell on those back roads where one state ends and another begins] with his Navajo wife, who may or may not be there in the morning when he woke up, and may or may not have really been his wife ... never the less Ryan could be found in that dusty roadhouse every evening just before the sun set behind the mesa, gearing up for yet another of what seemed to be an endless one man, and pick up band shows. This is how Ryan honed his skills, developed his outlaw whiskey soaked voice, and spun rollicking songs of the average man to tunes that were almost waltz-like ... songs that would have been as fresh eighty years ago as they are today.

But here on Roadhouse Sun, Ryan’s voice sounds more like it’s been soaked in gasoline, and he’s not mysterious anymore ... sounding like he’s made his way to a big city or two, been listening to too much Wilco, and that new Cracker album “Sunrise In The Land Of Milk & Honey.” He seems to have gotten younger also, but then they guys really only twenty eight, leaving Roadhouse Sun without the feeling of wisdom and years behind it, an aspect his other releases reflected.

Now I know, this could be a case of me wanting more of what I know, more of what I dig, and I’ll certainly be the first to tell anyone that an artist must progress, but this doesn’t feel like the man has moved anywhere ... it feels like he’s confused and unsure of his direction and his stand. Now in his defense, these songs sound utterly fantastic live, with my boots pounding the floor boards, but I liked him playing in the older bars on the wrong side of town, the bars where the neon signs haven’t worked in years, or perhaps have that static hum as they occasionally blink on for a moment, and then off for the next month. There’s no wind in my hair for this album, no reason for me to search it out to brighten my day.

Out of the dozen songs found here, there are really only two that I can recommend, “Country Roads,” and “Tell My Mother I Miss Her.” The seven and a half minute “Change Is” is really fine, but it lacks the refinement that I’ve come to expect from this artist, with its jagged atonal background, and blistering chord changes between verses. I haven’t given up ... I’ll be waiting for his next release, and see where that takes me.

Review by Jenell Kesler