Ryan Bingham

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Ryan Bingham

Life wasn’t meant to be easy, and few people really understand that more than American singer/songwriter Ryan Bingham. The Grammy and Academy Award winner heads back to Australia soon for an extensive tour, but brings with him the pain of recently losing both parents in terrible circumstances. A pain that has been slightly tempered by a Bingham starting his own family.

“There are highs and lows in life. (Them passing) doesn’t make it easier sometimes. But I have a wonderful wife and family of my own now. My parents made a lot of mistakes, but that doesn’t mean they were bad people,” he says.

Bingham’s awards success, after his tune ‘The Weary Kind’ from the film Crazy Heart picked up both an Oscar and Grammy, was soured by his parents’ deaths. But he returns to Australia with a new album, Fear and Saturday Night, and is ready to wow audiences again. And he now feels free of the burden of expectation that accolades often unwittingly bring.

“During that time I felt like the success was a hindrance. At that stage I’d only had a couple of records out and was still learning to play with a band, learning as a writer and player. It was a heavy time in my life. Looking back, it was good exposing my music to people who’d never heard of me, and gave me confidence to keep playing music for a living.”

Bingham has also learnt the eternal music-industry lesson – who your real friends are. “It was like fighting off the wolves. All of these people out there wanting to be your friend.”

Growing up as a country boy at heart, but with an appreciation of all genres of music, helped. “My roots are with country.”

After Bingham’s Aussie tour wraps at the end of April, he will head back into the album making groove with a release set for 2017.

“I’ve been in the studio writing a bunch of songs and that will continue. I recorded a lot of my own gigs for a live album too.”

Preparations for his Australian visit have been occurring in earnest, as Bingham explains. “Fine tuning the band lately, and they’re great – excited to be playing every night. I’ve been wanting to come back to Australia for a while. It’s harder to get there – long way to travel and expensive. But I have met some really good friends from Australia and have always had a great fascination with the country there from discussions I’ve had with my Aussie mates. Excited to get there.”

Bingham will kick the tour off at the Basement in Sydney in semi-acoustic mode, and then head to Melbourne and Brisbane, with some country venue stops along the way.

Written by Chris Michaels

When & Where: Northcote Social Club, Melbourne – April 27 & Capital Theatre, Bendigo – April 28