Ryan Bingham at the El Rey
Fresh on the heels of his recently released American Love Song album Ryan Bingham is hitting the pavement for a heavy tour schedule throughout July that will take him across the US as well as Europe. On Thursday night he and his band of well-oiled troubadours graced the stage of the El Rey Theatre in Hollywood, serving up an epic night of story-telling and music. In support of Bingham is the Los Angeles roots rock band, The Americans. Their brand of no-frills, blue collar rock n roll serve as a stellar way to prime the rapidly filling venue.
By the time Bingham and his crew take the stage the legendary room was packed well over capacity with eager fans waiting to see what the crooner would have in store. And Bingham wastes no time as he launches into a raucous version of “And Nothing Holdin’ Me Down”. Jesse Dayton’s guitar crunches away as the number throws the crowd into a frenzy.
Another highlight of the night was the ornery tune, “Got Damn Blues”. Bingham was clearly having a ball as the crowd matched him word for word. Next up is another iconic tune off of the American Love Song album, “Wolves”. There is a hush over the audience as the crooner belts out the deeply personal lyrics. Bingham then turns the stank level back up as he breaks out the steel guitar for “Bread and Water”.
By now the audience is highly lubricated, and the temperature levels are increasing, making the room unapologetically spicy. It’s about this time that I overheard an enthusiastic fan saying to their friend, “He’s soulful as shit, isn’t he”. And I have to say, they were right. Ryan Bingham is clearly soulful as shit.
Bingham ends the night with a touching story of when he took his bride-to-be to meet his family and friends for the first time - a night that ended up with high levels of alcohol, weed, and explosives. This served as a perfect introduction to the tune “Lover Girl”.
As it turned out, the audience wasn’t ready to say goodbye. And Bingham and friends oblige with an encore that includes the crowd favorites “Trouble” and “Blue Bird”.