How Ryan Bingham’s Album ‘American Love Song’ Addresses Border Politics

Ryan Bingham has been pondering the meaning of America lately — the optimism in the midst of struggle, the triumphs amid the losses. Men and women looking for a fresh start. Families like his, who pinned their hopes on the next town or job, always chasing that ephemeral dream.

Bingham has lived it all, and sometimes all at once. Just as his song “The Weary Kind,” featured in the 2009 movie Crazy Heart, thrust him into the national conversation — winning him Oscar, Grammy and Golden Globe awards — he lost his mother to alcoholism and his father to suicide.

Nearly a decade and two albums removed, he’s pulled together a surprisingly upbeat, bluesy collection of songs that doesn’t shy away from big-ticket topics. American Love Song [Axster Bingham] is his most personal and political album to date, a rolling blues-country workout awash in slide guitar, soaring gospel-roadhouse stomps and meditative folk fingerpicking that takes on his past with a cautious hope for the future.

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Published by on February 12, 2019