Monday, August 1

Showtime: 7:30 PM

Chautauqua Auditorium

$28.00 - $43.00 ($25.00 - $40.00 Concert Member)

Ryan Bingham is an Americana singer-songwriter from New Mexico, who worked as a ranch worker and rodeo rider across the Southwest before turning his hand to his roots-based country music.

Bingham never really set out to be a musician, though. His mother bought him a guitar when he was 16 years old and a neighbor taught him a mariachi tune. When he grew tired of playing the only song he knew, Bingham began penning his own music, discovering the writing process to be a therapeutic coping mechanism for dealing with the tumultuousness of his upbringing.

His latest release, “Fear and Saturday Night” is his most powerful album yet. Recorded mostly live with a brand new backing band and under the guidance of producer/engineer Jim Scott, the album opens with “Nobody Knows My Trouble,” a loping, autobiographical ballad about trying to outrun a painful past and finding redemption both in the strings of a guitar and in hitting the road with the love of your life. “Adventures Of You And Me” is a slide-guitar and mariachi-tinged barnburner about a pair of misfits who travel the country together, while “Island In The Sky” again picks up the theme of travel as a means of salvation and escape.

“I feel like I’ve been traveling my whole life, even from when I was a little kid,” says Bingham. “Both of my parents were really bad alcoholics, and my dad could never keep down a job, so we never lived in the same town for more than a couple years. And even if we did, we’d move to different houses every other month. It felt like I lived out of a cardboard box growing up until I was old enough to buy my own suitcase, and then I was just running from everything.”

Bingham faces down his past with a poetic grace throughout the album. “Certain things aren’t going to change,” he explains. “You can’t run away or hide from the past. You have to live in it and deal with stuff and find your own way to overcome. The way I grew up,” he continues, “you had to develop a certain kind of toughness. Hanging with those guys on the rodeo circuits, you learn at an early age how to defend yourself. There’s lots of fights and rowdy bars and mean people out there. But if you’re smart enough to stay out of situations where other people can hurt you, you’re the only one who can really hurt yourself. That’s something I had to learn on my own.”

Those hard-learned lessons, through both good times and bad, helped make Bingham the man he is today. “Fear and Saturday Night” is the most authentic, personal and deeply moving portrait of that man we’ve heard yet.

The Americans will open tonight’s show.

Ride the FREE HOP 2 Chautauqua shuttle to this show! Click here for more info.