3 Stars (out of 4) CD review of JUNKY STAR
Pop & Hiss
THE L.A. TIMES MUSIC BLOG
Album review: Ryan Bingham's 'Junky Star'
August 30, 2010
In "Strange Feelin’ in the Air," a crooked guitar riff stalks, offering a
feeling of apprehension as sure as the shifty outsider bursting through
the swinging doors of the townie saloon. It’s pure Ryan Bingham, a
conjurer of atmosphere, a gift that he put to good use for "The Weary
Kind," his Oscar-winning song featured in "Crazy Heart."
The Topanga Canyon troubadour wrote the movie’s theme with roots maestro
T Bone Burnett, who also lends his production skills to "Junky Star,"
Bingham’s third album of dirty-fingernail Americana. Unlike Bingham’s
last outing, "Roadhouse Sun," in which his native windswept Texas
dominated the proceedings, California creeps up in the margins. In the
ragged, heartfelt "Depression," the Golden State might be an escape from
a wasteland, but it’s not that simple; on the title track, he’s "sleeping
on the Santa Monica Pier, with the junkies and the stars."
Click here for the rest of the review