Final Attraction

"We're creating an alternate world of country music," T Bone Burnett told the Chronicle last September in regard to his work with the late Stephen Bruton for the Robert Duvall-produced film Crazy Heart, which is slated for national release later this year. "Country music as you would like it to be."

Fitting, then, that Ryan Bingham & the Dead Horses make their big-screen debut in the film as part of the backup band for Jeff Bridges, who stars as a beat-down country singer – modeled on Kris Kristofferson – attempting to revive the acclaimed outlaw status of his early career.

"They actually gave me a few lines, believe it or not," smiles Bingham. "Everywhere he plays, they already have a band set up for him that knows his songs. In the opening scene, we're all sitting there waiting for him at a bowling alley in Boulder, Colorado. Then he comes in and puts everybody in their place."

One night during preproduction, as part of a songwriting session at Burnett's home in Los Angeles, Bingham arrived with a copy of his unreleased original "The Weary Kind" in hand.

"We all sat around in his living room and listened to it," Bingham recalls. "The first thing T Bone said was, 'That's going to be the title song of the movie.'"

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