Junky Star
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26 of 29 people found the following review helpful
on August 31, 2010
It's hard to believe the man is just 29 years old. Ryan Bingham seems more like some grizzled, peyote addled, desert rat who emerged from a heat mirage on a lonely stretch of highway. I loved the first two albums but I always thought perhaps Ryan was trying to cultivate the image he was projecting. Seems he's been on his own since his teens in rural Texas bouncing back and forth betweem ranch work and rodeos before he turned his attention to music. He's come a long way from sleeping in his pickup truck to a bit part in "Crazy Heart" and an Oscar for "The Weary Kind". Ryan turns from Marc Ford who produced his first two albums to "Crazy Heart" musical mastermind T Bone Burnett. The terminally busy Burnett has the wisdom not to try and change Bingham and The Dead Horses. If anything, he strips away the excess and let's Bingham's lyrical strengths shine through. As much as I love James McMurtry and and his songwriting skills, Ryan Bingham is well on his way to challenging him for the title of poet laureate of Americana music. Maybe James owns the high plains and Ryan reigns over the desert. Highly recommended.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on September 2, 2010
I have to agree with everyone's opinion on Ryan Bingham. He is a great talent!!!
But one of the elements that drew me towards his music is missing on Junky Star.
That would be his "in your face" attitude that bucked the establishment and broke some rules with some rocking tunes that crossed, or at least blurred the lines between country and rock. This album contains no foot-stomping tunes like Bread and Water, Country Roads and even just a little toe tapping experienced in Ghost of Travlin' Jones. If soft, soulful country ballads are your thing, then give this one 5 stars and add it your collection. If your a Bingham fan as am I, then buy it anyway. We're seeing and listening to the creative evolution of a music icon for years to come. Just hoping for more gritty, harder edged stuff in the future.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on October 3, 2010
I caught Ryan Bingham for the first time at the Americana Music Awards show at the Ryman in Nashville. He had won both the song of the year award for "The Weary Kind" as well as the artist of the year award. While I had the Crazy Heart soundtrack, I was not acquainted with his other work. In a night filled with incredible performances (for example Robert Plant did an unannounced 40 minute set of his new Band of Joy LP with Buddy Miler and Patty Griffin) Ryan Bingham blew me away with a stunning performance of "Hallelujah" from his new LP. While still sitting in the auditorium, I ordered the new LP as well as his first two releases on both cd and vinyl through the amazon app on my ipod. I have not been disappointed. I find both his songs and his voice to have a depth and maturity that belie his age. His songs have been in constant rotation on my turntable and on my car's iPod. I am planning to catch him live in the next few weeks. Along with artists like Hayes Carll and the Avett Brothers, performers like Ryan Bingham give me hope in the future of country music. It great to see a new stream of talent in the mold of Townes Van Zant, Guy Clark, Steve Earle etc. coming down the pike. I urge you to support Ryan Bingham and others like him by buying their music. It is folks like these that will keep quality songwriting alive in today's world of mass produced Muzak for the lowest common denominator.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on October 30, 2010
It's been ages since an artist's music stopped me in my tracks - 29-year-old Ryan Bingham is the latest to do so, and his latest, Junky Star (3rd release, produced by T Bone Burnett,) is a brilliant album. Bingham is a talented songwriter, lyrically taking up themes and characters that complement his hard-life-lived sound. And that voice...Bingham's raspy, throaty vocals are all gravel and grit, sounding 30+ years his senior - part Bob Dylan (today!), part Felice Brothers. Junky Star is old school, no bells and whistles: mostly toned down, contemplative & haunting acoustic ballads woven amidst a few edgier barroom rockers. No matter the style, this is refreshing, invigorating stuff. If the name is familiar, Bingham won multiple awards in `10 for his song "The Weary Kind" from the Crazy Heart soundtrack.

GENRES: Rock, Mellow Rock, Contemporary Folk.

BUY IF YOU LIKE: Bob Dylan, The Felice Brothers, Bruce Springsteen, Tom Petty, James McMurtry.

MUST HEAR TRACKS: "The Poet," "The Wandering," "Junky Star," "Hallelujah," "Yesterday's Blues," "Direction of the Wind," "Self Righteous Wall," "All Choked Up Again."
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12 of 16 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon August 31, 2010
Junky Star is another spectacular album from Ryan Bingham. Produced by T-Bone Burnett, every song is like a painting for your ears. Great musicianship, great lyrics that tell great stories, great singing. Ryan Bingham is an incredible, underrated talent. This album, coming on the heels of his Oscar win for "The Weary Kind" (from Crazy Heart), might go a long way towards bumping Bingham to big-time stardom. NOTE: The MP3 version of the album includes "The Weary Kind" as the 13th track, which is a nice bonus. That song is NOT included on the CD version. My favorite Junky Star tracks so far: "The Poet," "Depression," and "Hallelujah." Fabulous stuff. I couldn't recommend this album more highly.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on October 24, 2010
Ryan Bingham had just won a oscar for his song "The Weary Kind", off the film "Crazy Heart". "Junky Star", #19 pop and #2 country. So when I first heard it, it didn't sound as good as his last album "Roadhouse Sun", a great rockin' country sounding set, but after several listens this is a great achievment. Produced by T-Bone Burnett.(he's been one busy man for the last decade). The album opens up with "The Poet", just Ryan's harmonica and acoustic guitar.

"The Wandering"- More harmonica by Ryan with some good guitar licks by Corby Schaub. Would of fit perfectly on "Roadhouse Sun".

"Strange Feelin' In The Air"- "Tattoo's and chains". Another strong song, with more great lyrics.

"Junky Star"- Laid back sound, murder ballad tune.

"Depression"- Just a great song, some good pickin' here. Ryan's lyrics are tops, saw on Letterman a very good performance.

"Hallelujah"- starts out with some fine acoustic pickin', another great story song. Then the band joins in on some fine gospel sounds, Corby's electric guitar shines here.

Yesterday's Blues"-Harmonica and acoustic guitar are again the main instruments, with some great lyrics.

"Direction Of The Wind"- The slide guitar, very Led Zeppelin III feel here, with some Dylan type lyrics, Elijah Ford good bass here.

"Lay My Head On The Rail"- Some fine acoustic guitar, again excellent lyrics.

"Hard Worn Trail"- Tremendous song, the band in perfect form, good drums by Matthew Smith.

"Self-Righteous Wall"- Great plodding drums and bass, Corby's guitar fills in the blanks, the lyrics are something else.

"All Chocked Up Again"- With T-Bone on Tremolo, A fine mid-tempo based tune, with some more great lyrics by Ryan Bingham, spacey sounding.

Again not bad for a guy that's only 29 years old! I can't wait to hear his next offering.
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10 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on August 31, 2010
So I've been waiting all summer for "JUNKY STAR"! It was worth the wait! And a steal for only $3.99. I have no idea how to describe Ryan Bingham--he just writes and sings great music. Junky Star is a little more stripped down, more subdued than Roadhouse Sun. Still amazing! The variety yet similarity is what makes Bingham relavent! If you get a chance--check them out in person! Their show is just the real deal--Download Junky Star and try not to listen!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on June 22, 2011
I have been with Bingham from the early days when he was still with the Dead Horses. The man had the voice and the words from the very start. He was twenty going on sixty when it came to relaying stories through his music, almost as if he had been everywhere and seen everything. But how can this be possible? This album is more tame than the more rocking first and second CDs. There is also a more seriousness to the lyrics. Ryan is surrounded by a ridiculously talented band which makes each song a well crafted gem. What can I say, this guy is from another planet.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
These songs are hard-hitting tales about being the underdog in the last days of the American empire. Junky Star is a lot quieter than either of the band's previous albums and feels like a continuation of Bingham's work in Crazy Heart. While the band may be a bit muted, they are still fierce, reminiscent of Crazy Horses' occasional acoustic foray with Neil Young. No wannabe Jimmy Buffetts in puka shell necklaces here. This is a country music album for grown-ass men.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on September 27, 2010
Right from the start, the first song "The Poet" grabs you. The mouth harp is awesome stuff!! Hallelujah, Depression, dang there are so many great songs on this cd. Everytime I listen to it I love it more.
Diffently add this to your collection if you love Mescalito!!! You will love this cd just as much.
Another awesome recording by Lost Highway Records!!!
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