Hard living makes for heartfelt good music, and that might be a cliché, but there's something to it. One can hear and sense a life lived beyond the edge in only a few lines and notes at Lollapalooza. Ryan Bingham, I'd guess after hearing him today, has lived one helluva of a goddamn life.
Bingham's best known to some film fans for his work on "The Weary Kind" for the dynamite Jeff Bridges semi-indie film Crazy Heart. Today, he had a chance to show us what else he can do. With tunes that plumb the depths of junkie-dom, blues licks, slide guitar and cowboy boots, Bingham himself feels like the real thing. Today, he showed us how big and blazing he could take the country blues, with songs about moving to LA and getting hooked on smack. He and his band (which seemed to let Bingham lead the way) delivered the goods with "Hallelujah" and got whiskey-drunk and wild on "Bread and Water" as Bingham intoned about the devil's backbone. His lead guitarist got excited, leaped and crashed—almost losing his axe—and laughed it off. Bingham may have a few accidents along the way, but we'd assume that likewise, he'll always be taking crazy chances because he don't know any better.