Ryan Bingham & the Dead Horses

ACL Live Shots

ACL Live Shots
Photo by Gary Miller

Ryan Bingham & the Dead Horses

Zilker Park, Oct. 8

Going up against Sonic Youth, Vampire Weekend, and Robert Randolph, Ryan Bingham & the Dead Horses proved they could hold their own and then some in headlining the Austin Ventures stage. The shortened 45-minute set wanted only for a longer time slot. The quartet came bucking out of the gate with "The Wandering" from the freshly released Junky Star, Bingham's gnarled vocals splitting the graveled difference between Dire Straits and Bruce Springsteen while his harmonica blared like he had nothing left to lose. "Strange Feelin' in the Air" delivered a Southern blues bruiser behind guitarist Corby Shaub, who bolstered the entire set by ripping more Crazy Horse than Dead Horse. "Bluebird" and "Hallelujah" hammered an alternative rock bent, and "Southside of Heaven" kicked up the Zilker dust with a wild mandolin and fiddle romp. "Direction of the Wind" consciously hearkened Dylan. Though recently taking home Artist of the Year from the Americana Music Awards, Bingham refuses to be penned in either by expectations of country music or his Academy Award-garnering turn for "The Weary Kind." Here the former local had the well-earned advantage of a fervent hometown reception, especially with the audience raucously joining in on closing Texas road anthem "Bread & Water."

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