“I find myself back in a more hopeful place,” Ryan Bingham says of a collection that was crafted while he was holed up in an airstream trailer in the mountains of California. Being in such a solitary spot afforded him “the time and space to tap into myself.” And tap into himself he surely did, in a collection filled with honesty, hope and more positivity than one might be used to hearing on a Ryan Bingham record. Fear and Saturday Night, his fifth album, was produced by Jim Scott (Tom Petty, Wilco) and contains twelve songs of varied life experiences expressed by a …storyteller.
The album starts off with the autobiographical “Nobody Knows My Trouble” in which the jaunty melody juxtaposes the reality of the lyrics- of not knowing what is really going on with a person simply from seeing their exterior. On the rootsy “Broken Heart Tattoos,” he imagines what type of father he will become while a psychedelic, fuzzy feel permeates “Top Shelf Drug,” about being unable to get enough of a love after having a taste.
Inspirational and touching, “Island in The Sky,” about being with the one you love and being to conquer anything “So we can feel without fear a future that we’ll never know.”
Incorporating Mexican flair (and accordion!!), the rollicking “Adventures of You and Me” relates the toe tapping adventures in NYC while “Radio’s” bluesy sound relates what it’s like when you turn on the radio to hear a song and “bad things and sad memories keep a playing on my memory.”
Melancholy in both vocals and melody “Fear and Saturday Night” is both melancholy in vocals and melody while “Hands of Time” provides a slice of funk and some serious rockin’ in a song about experiencing life before time catches up with us. “Diamond Is Too Rough,” the longest song on the record, is a personal favorite for its lyrics and driving rhythm.
The incredibly romantic “Snow Falls in June” is about being there for that someone, being their safe place, their shelter, no matter what. The album closes with the stellar “Gun Fightin Man.”
“Fear and Saturday Night” is one of those albums that is diverse, yet complete, unified by the gravelly, weary voiced storyteller. It’s a collection with depth that will move you more with each listen.
Purchase the album here