Ryan Bingham Q&A
On a Lost Highway
Ryan Bingham’s crazy heart opens up.
By Lisa Robinson•Photograph by Bruce Weber
What’s life like after winning an Oscar?
Unlike some whose careers or marriages fall apart, Ryan Bingham says
things are pretty much the same since he and T Bone Burnett won for
best song (“The Weary Kind,” from Crazy Heart). Here, the
singer-songwriter and former rodeo bull rider talks about that award,
life on the road, and his new album, the T Bone Burnett—produced Junky
Star, out this month.
LISA ROBINSON: Were you really a rodeo bull rider?
RYAN BINGHAM: I grew up in New Mexico and Texas doing that. My uncle
rode bulls and my grandfather was a rancher; junior rodeos were like
Little League in our family.
L.R. You get categorized as ‘country,’ but your music really sounds
more like Gram Parsons—style rock and roll.
R.B. We always felt we were a rock and roll band. People thought we
were a country band because I wore a cowboy hat, and [while] I was
raised on Willie and Waylon—and that’s a lot of where my roots
are—the Stones and Zeppelin are in there, too. A lot of times people
don’t listen to your music; they just see what you’re wearing and put
a stamp on it. Then they come to our shows, see us play live, and it’s
a whole different deal.
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