Photo by Anna Axster
Ryan Bingham returns to town tonight with a show at the Austin Music Hall with Lucero, a bill that will definitely show off Bingham’s rock and roll bonafides. But the Oscar and Grammy-winning songwriter has a tender side to him too, born years ago when he’d entertain his compatriots on the hardscrabble rodeo circuit. “It really started from sitting in the back seat of the truck going down the road to these rodeos, and just making up these little songs [about] our weekend adventures,” Bingham told KUTX’s Jody Denberg last year. Authenticity is not necessary in folk songs (see: Bob Dylan’s constant reinventions), but it helps if you’ve lived what you’re singing about. “Nobody Knows My Trouble” kicks off this year’s Fear And Saturday Night, detailing the dark side of the cowboy lifestyle. Bingham’s stripped-down Studio 1A take shows off the stark but defiant truth at the song’s center.