Friday, May 30, 2008
Bordertown Boy takes a bite o' the Apple
Its rare that musical up-and-comers from the 'flyover states' ever make it this far East, let alone into the heart of Manhattan's Lower East Side (unless of course they are waiting tables telling patrons what good musicians they are... right).
On Tuesday I rocked out with a genuine and talented group of guys from about as far South in Texas as you can get (where you don't know whether to drink the water or not, speak Spanish or English, or worry that the border patrol will grab your brown-eyed girlfriend, "officer, she's Jewish").
The experience took me straight out of New York and into the bars and outdoor festivals of my youth; indeed a few Bud Lights served in plastic cups helped. Ryan Bingham and the Dead Horses features songsmith Ryan Bingham whose "whiskey and cigarettes" voice, according to Texas Music Magazine, "sounds like a 50-something Tom Waits". The musically score ranged from mariachi (thankfully sans big hats), to roadhouse music, to hand-clapping, footstomp'n, dueling slide guitar-romps!!
Ryan Bingham and the Dead Horses is certainly a show worth seeing. I wasn't expecting the paired-down sound I heard the other night; I do enjoy the over-busy instrumentation from the 'Mescalito' album. This show was raw, and seemed to channel Bingham's powerful lyrics more than musical complexity.
The combination of juxtaposition of Texas grit with NYC grime, with quality unbridled talent and lyrical emotion will be logged as a great NYC memory. This might even go down as the most fun I've had in the Lower East Side that didn't involve talking my brother out of going home with drunken curious lesbians.