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Mescalito

4.7 out of 5 stars 152 customer reviews

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Audio CD, October 2, 2007
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Product Description

Ryan Bingham knows a thing or two about pain. He learned the emotional aspect early in life, when shuttling between small towns and family members in the hardscrabble ranching communities of West Texas and New Mexico -- and became wellacquainted with the physical facets during his years on the Southwestern rodeo circuit.That ache is palpable in the grooves of Mescalito, Bingham's Lost Highway debut, but what's even more plain is the steely strength needed to overcome it -- a tenor that's evident in both the singer-songwriter's preternaturally wizened voice and his remarkably poignant songs, which resonate with roadhouse wisdom and rough-and-ready border-town piquancy.

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A vagabond spirit permeates these tales of truck stops, tip jars, boxcars, and love left behind, with a slide guitar punctuating arrangements that range from acoustic folk to classic rock (amid hints of the Rolling Stones, Neil Young's Crazy Horse, and a young Tom Waits). Yet ultimately, the impressive debut by this Southwestern, raspy-voiced troubadour is more than the sum of its songs, as the sequencing almost amounts to a narrative of life on the road, with the world-weary, end-of-the-line "Long Way from Georgia" and "Ever Wonder Why," leading to the renewal of "Sunrise." Former Black Crowes guitarist Marc Ford produced and provides multi-instrumental support, with Texas honky-tonk legend Terry Allen offering guest vocals and piano on "Ghost of Travelin' Jones." --Don McLeese
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 2, 2007)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Lost Highway
  • ASIN: B000VDDCHE
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (152 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,729 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
I don't agree with the 1st review at all. To start with, Mescalito is Ryan's first official album. The two previous albums in question were probably created by Ryan in a basement in Texas and only sold at his shows by his girlfriend...

Ryan Bingham's lyrics stem from his hard lived life in west Texas. Sung with his whiskey burned voice. His thoughts and feelings permeate this album with richness and depth not usually found by someone so young. Something easy to pin on Ryan is that he's wise beyond his years.

This is an incredible first album, filled with songs that stay with you throughout the day. You'll find yourself singing his tunes while you work hours after listening to Mescalito.
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Format: Audio CD
I was introduced to Ryan Bingham and Dead Horses when they played an opening slot to an empty room in Minneapolis earlier this year -- and I was completely floored. While it seems an album could never replace a Ryan Bingham live show, this album certainly does it justice. He has a refreshingly welcome sound in the over-produced major label arena. He's a perfect fit for Lost Highway and, if he proves he can write and record more than 15 great songs, he could have a long and fruitful career following in the footsteps of Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, and Ryan Adams. Hopefully he and his advisers are smart enough to keep him traveling down that path, because it has the potential to be legendary.

My vote for best album of the year.
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Format: Audio CD
This guy's great... Soulful, greasy, gritty roadhouse Americana-rock, with savvy production and earthy guitar work from Mark Ford (of Black Crowes fame). This is one of the best alt-country records in years -- totally deserving of your attention! (DJ Joe Sixpack)
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I'm a 67 year old eclectic music collector. I bought this on a whim after learning he was on the "Crazy Hearts" sound track. Boy, I'm glad I did! This is one of the best CD's I have ever listen to. I can't say enough good things about this recording. "Hard Times" brings tears to my eyes every time I listen to it. Waiting for the next from Ryan!
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Format: Audio CD
Cruising around "cdnow" one night and I came across this, decided to give it a listen.It has turned out to be one of those gems that you just feel excited about having.This man is a true talent, from his songwriting to his playing,simply remarkable.Just as the cover of the cd shows, this is excellent road music, pop it in and go for a ride!
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Format: Audio CD
Bought 4 CDs at once - this one, new Jakob Dylan (a fine album itself), Ryan Adams, Elvis Costello - and this is the one that stays in the CD player nearly full time.

The early Steve Earle comparisons are fair, and I'd throw Chris Whitley's Living with the Law in there too (maybe even Lowell George era Little Feat), but Bingham's decidedly got his own sound, a raw authentic blues-inflected alt country rock that can piledrive on one song and lope on the next. The band's musicianship, particularly on the occasional banjo and slide parts, is exceptional.

The sheer number of great songs on this record tell you that this is a guy who's got a lot more in him. Everyone loves "Southside of Heaven," "Bread and Water" is great (first time my girlfriend heard it, she started dancing - isn't any way you can listen to that song and *not* move), but right now I can't get enough of "The Other Side." I'm just sad when it stops after only two minutes.

I haven't seen him live yet; I can tell you I haven't been this excited to see someone in person since I first heard Springsteen on the radio.

Buy this CD or the MP3 version so he becomes a big star and we can all hear a lot more of him, OK?
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I had never heard of Ryan Bingham or Dead Horses until last week. I was flipping through the TV channels and came across 'Austin City Limits'. I was taken by the amazing sound created by Dead Horses and then I was 'floored' by the sound of Ryan Bingham. I could NOT believe the sounds that this gang created. The music and the maturity of the lyrics were mind-blowing. The set just got better and better as it went on and was topped by the slide guitar playing of Ryan Bingham. Immediately after the program ended I went to my computer and checked this gang out on Amazon. I was VERY disappointed to see that they appear to only have one disc in release - I am now told that there are two albums produced in a garage and I wish I knew how to get copies! This disc is remarkable - Ryan Bingham has the potential to be a real force in music. His singing voice and his lyrics decry his young years (I suspect that he must be sick of hearing this by now) and it obviously reveals a hard and difficult life. I really hope that this young man and the Horses keep their heads and that their manager and entourage keep theirs too and that they go on to fulfill their remarkable potential. They are tremendous talents. I am waiting for the next album with much impatience. This is the most startling album that I have heard in a very, very long while. A real FIVE STAR venture. Bravo.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I didn't know of his involvement in "Crazy Heart" either, and happened on this album in the 'suggestions' window here on Amazon. I was searching something else and was intrigued by the cover. I clicked and listened and was stunned. There is so much honesty and roots and tremendous songwriting in this album. In the world of over-produced formula country, this is a breath of fresh air. Anyone who appreciates Steve Earle or Townes Van Zant and wants to capture the essence of Americana, this is a tremendous album. There are no throw-away cuts or filler. Each song is a story and well worth listening to.
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