Ryan Bingham 8/15/15

Ryan Bingham 8/15/15

The Wild Feathers

Sat Aug 15, 2015

Doors: 7:30 pm / Show: 7:30 pm (event ends at 1:00 am)

This event is all ages

Ryan Bingham 8/15/15
Ryan Bingham 8/15/15
Tomorrowland, the title of Ryan Bingham's new album, sounds futuristic, but the Oscarwinning singer/songwriter hints, "Maybe it's not so much about looking ahead as it is about leaving things behind."
"There are no more rules," he continues. Recording Tomorrowland for his own Axster Bingham Records felt "totally liberating," he says, and allowed him the freedom to "do whatever we want and not have someone else's agenda on it."

Tomorrowland contains plenty of the pliant acoustic guitar work that has marked Bingham's previous studio sets, but Tomorrowland expands his musical landscape exponentially: Guitars howl into keyboards and drums stomp against strings, all
bolstered by Bingham's jagged, weather-beaten vocals.

Despite his assertion that "I always try to be hopeful," Bingham's songs remain full of dark, often mysterious, places where light struggles to get in. On the bracing, haunting "No Help From God," he sings in a world-weary rasp, "Some say that angels are all
looking down/I only saw vultures circling around." Bingham recorded Tomorrowland at a makeshift studio in a friend's empty house in Malibu, Calif. that turned out to have an interesting heritage: it once belonged to Kris Kristofferson, one of his musical heroes. "I thought, who knows what you're going to find in these walls'," Bingham laughs.
Bingham and co-producer Justin Stanley (Eric Clapton, Sheryl Crow) brought in a soundboard and microphones and set up the drums right in the middle of the highceiling room. They recruited in a small core of musicians to play on the album as needed.
"That's what was so nice about the record: we weren't on a time line or in crunch time," Bingham says. " I really tried to distance myself from any of that. I was like 'I'm in a house, I'm not spending a lot of money. I can take all the time I need and really get it
right.'" And Bingham is the first to admit that after the rush of the last few years, he needed to slow the pace.

The Oscar, Golden Globe, and Grammy wins for his song "The Weary Kind" from 2009's movie "Crazy Heart" caused a wonderful commotion that was at times humbling and overwhelming to Bingham, who was named the Americana Music Association's
2010 artist of the year.Without taking a breather, Bingham recorded 2010's critically acclaimed "Junky Star," and returned to the road, caught up in an endless swirl of touring. What the public didn't
see was a man thrown into a whirlwind, caught up in the chaos not only from the awards hoopla, but, much more cataclysmically, by his parents dying within a couple of years of each other. "It was too much, I felt like a zombie," he says.

Determined to keep his commitments, Bingham continued gigging, but when he came back to Los Angeles in 2011, he stopped moving for a bit, settled into his new life with his wife, and learned how to live in one spot. For the first time, Bingham had a true place to call his own. One of the many upsides was he got to explore the electric guitar.

"I was always staying with friends. I never had a space where I could set up an amp with pedals. It wasn't until the last couple of years where I got a house of my own and time off where I could set up and start playing Jimi Hendrix stuff and Jimmy Page," he
says. "Just rocking it. My inner 16-year old kid was coming out."
His inner teen makes itself loud and clear on much of the album—he plays all the guitars on the album and had his collection of more than 20 at the ready — but especially on the first single, "Heart Of Rhythm." The passionate rave-up, the first one
he wrote for the album, is all paint-peeling rock and roll from the perspective of a true believer.

"When I was writing it, I was thinking I'm going to write a whole punk rock album: The Clash, Iggy Pop, just getting it on," he says. Though Bingham broadened the album's landscape, many of punk's ideals: abandoning oneself to the music, defiance of
convention, and going full throttle remain intact throughout Tomorrowland's 13 tracks.

By turns deeply confessional ("Never Far Behind"), and by others unflinchingly observant about society's underbelly (the epic "Rising of the Ghetto"), Tomorrowland features Bingham's fearless honesty throughout. "It helps to say it and get it out that way," he says. "That's what writing songs has always been about for me, it's never been about anything else. That's always been my thing."
While crafting the tunes in the studio, Bingham considered how they would sound on the road, more so than on his previous releases. "Before I didn't have the perspective of what it was going to be like live. I'm going to be on the road the next two years playing
these songs every night and I want to have fun with them, so that was a focus."

Bingham's tour starts Sept. 25 in San Francisco. Bingham began writing songs when he was 17 to get away from his troubled Texan
home life. The escape transformed from emotional to literal as soon as he figured out a way to sustain himself. "I had gigs where I could make $50 a night. I could just get in the car and get away and I could support myself," he says. "I didn't have to work for
somebody. I could get all that shit off my chest through my songs. They were my therapy, my means of survival, my livelihood in every way." And now, with more experience and a mantel full of awards, the 31-year old Bingham finds himself, in many ways, back at the beginning. "Doing this label and the new music on our own had led me back to writing songs that sustain me. It's a whole new
adventure for me. Whatever that means."
The Wild Feathers
The Wild Feathers
Long before it got broken up into a million sub-genres, rock & roll was just rock & roll. Pure, true, organic. Six strings, booming harmonies and the call of the open road. It's a singularly American tradition that Nashville's The Wild Feathers are full-force dedicated to not only preserving but also – more importantly - evolving. Their sound melds the five unique voices of Ricky Young, Joel King, Taylor Burns and Preston Wimberly, and Ben Dumas, taking inspiration from across the musical spectrum – country, blues, folk and rock – and spinning it into a roaring web of warm, cosmic melodies with vintage roots and modern tones. The Wild Feathers are a rock band that feels impossibly fresh with the air of having been here all along.
Ricky, Joel, Taylor and Preston were all lead singers before they came together as The Wild Feathers, fronting their own bands and writing songs with their own distinct sounds. All hailing from Texas with the exception of Joel (Oklahoma), each member grew up with a deep sense of southern musical traditions, while at the same time being raised on records like Led Zeppelin, Neil Young and Tom Petty. As kids, their moms played them the Rolling Stones instead of lullabies, literally and figuratively rocking them to sleep.
Eventually Ricky and Joel both migrated to Nashville, where they connected in 2010. Occasionally, they'd get together to write music and play: Stones songs, riffs they'd written, ideas here and there. "Ricky and I wanted to do something with a bunch of singers, not just one lead," Joel says. Their vision was of a group where each member is as indispensible as the next; a solid set of four, not just a front man backed by session players. Of course, finding the proper matches for something like this is no easy task. With strong voices can come stronger egos – just the thing to rip a fledgling band apart. Somehow, The Wild Feathers found their missing pieces, leading them to become what Joel calls a "four-headed monster," not four separate monsters, butting heads.
Mutual friends suggested a man by the name of Taylor Burns with a strong electric-guitar rip and bluesy growl. He seemed the perfect thing to complement Ricky's smooth, folk tone and Joel's rock & roll bellow. Next came Preston Wimberly, who rounded out the loose, bright harmonies and added an occasional country twang through some masterful pedal steel. The four gathered to play music in Austin, and it clicked nearly instantly. Instead of a battle of wills, it was effortless. The Wild Feathers was born that day. "It was a match made in heaven," says Joel. "Or hell," he adds with a smirk.
"I wanted to do something greater than I could on my own," Ricky says, but every member of the band could easily echo the same sentiment. "To create something bigger than any one of us individually, and write great songs that last the test of time." While some of their influences come from deep in the 60's and 70's, they're still thoroughly modern, fusing and evolving their pedal steel and Laurel Canyon harmonies rather than regurgitating and repackaging what's already in existence. So it's no surprise that they're more likely to simply call themselves American than Americana. "We like folk music, but we're going to have a distortion pedal on when we do it," laughs Preston.
For their 2013 debut, The Wild Feathers, the band enlisted Jay Joyce (Cage the Elephant, the Wallflowers, Emmylou Harris) as producer, who encouraged the band to tap into their innate sense of harmony and true rock & roll sound. Their days in his Nashville studio were full and tiring ("like we'd been waterskiing and drinking beer in the sun all day," says Ricky, "but so inspiring"), recording most tracks live, one at a time. "It was kind of like the old days with Elvis at RCA," says Joel, "recording one song per day, really living in each one."
The resulting record is a display of four unique talents effortlessly unified: bluesy, hard rock tunes like "Backwoods Company" live effortlessly next to harmonic stunners like "Hard Wind" and slow, folky love songs like "Tall Boots." "When Rick Danko (of The Band) would sing harmonies, it was like he was singing lead," says Ricky. "That's what we try to do." And it shows. Songs like "Left My Woman," allow Ricky, Joel and Taylor to sing a few solo bars each in the opening, before joining with Preston on the chorus. Visually, they are united, too – playing shows standing in a line straight across the stage, as one.
"We make songs that I could never write on my own," says Ricky, "even if I worked from now until I die. But with these guys and what they bring, it's easy." Adds Taylor, "we're making something better than we could have ever done by ourselves." What they make is modern rock & roll, laced with nostalgia, built for the new millennium. What they are is The Wild Feathers.
Venue Information:
Whitewater Amphitheater
11860 FM 306
New Braunfels, TX, 78133
http://www.whitewaterrocks.com/