LIVE: Americanarama Festival of Music @ SPAC, 7/21/13

July 30th, 2013, 3:00 pm by Greg
Wilco (photo by Timothy Reidy)

Wilco with Garth Hudson

Review by Greg Haymes
Photograph by Timothy Reidy

Five years ago, when Bob Dylan last graced the stage of the Saratoga Performing Arts Center, he was the headliner of the one-time-only Saratoga Music Festival that featured a cavalcade of Americana acts, including the likes of Levon Helm, Gillian Welch, Steve Earle, the Swell Season and Raul Malo.

Last week, Dylan returned to SPAC as the top-bill on the touring Americanarama Festival of Music – which also featured Wilco, My Morning Jacket and Ryan Bingham – and at the end of the night I was left with the same thought that I had back in 2008 – Dylan’s performance was disappointingly anti-climactic.

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Live: Ryan Bingham & the Dead Horses @ The Linda, 10/17/10

October 26th, 2010, 3:01 pm by Greg

Ryan Bingham and The Dead Horses

Ryan Bingham and The Dead Horses

Texas singer-songwriter Ryan Bingham and his band the Dead Horses rode into The Linda in Albany last week only to find a full house audience busting at the seams. It was was standing-room-only for those who came late to see the Academy Award winning songwriter, who took home the Oscar earlier this year for “The Weary Kind,” the theme song from the film, “Crazy Heart,” starring Jeff Bridges in his Oscar-winning role.

Still not yet 30 years old, Bingham has come a long way fast since his bull-riding rodeo days. Heck, he’s come a long way since 2008, when he made his Nippertown debut at Valentine’s in front of a rather small crowd. With three CDs under his belt and now living in Venice Beach, the Holly-weird vibe hasn’t corrupted him yet. He and his bandmates still come off all Texas-gritty and down to earth on stage. Launching his dynamic set with “The Wandering,” Bingham accompanied himself on acoustic guitar, as he wailed on the harmonica dangling around his neck, ala Bob Dylan.

With Dylan’s “A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall” as the third song into his set, some of Bingham’s roots were showing. And there was some Steve Earle in his alt-country approach there, too.

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