Bingham wins awards, still 'drinks coffee out of the same cup'
Anyone remotely familiar with his artistic depth, blue-collar work ethic and humble personality knows that the last thing Ryan Bingham would be tempted to do is to cash in on the newfound fame of having recently won Golden Globe, Oscar and Grammy awards for "The Weary Kind," a song he co-wrote with T-Bone Burnett for the Oscar-winning movie "Crazy Heart." To the contrary, this former rodeo rider is satisfied playing music for a living and crossing the country with his band The Dead Horses on a never-ending series of one-nighters.
"I'm proud of receiving those awards, but at the end of the day I've never really been about winning awards or being better than anybody else, so it's not the most important thing in my life," said the 29-year-old singer-songwriter. "Having the opportunity to write music and tour and play music with these guys that I've been with since the beginning, that's the real reward there. I still drink my coffee out of the same cup."
Though Bingham is careful not to let accolades compromise his artistic integrity, he is aware that having won a trifecta of major awards within the last year has benefited his career. When I interviewed Bingham in July 2009, he was about to make his Des Moines debut at the House of Bricks where a modest crowd gathered to see him perform songs from his first two Lost Highway albums, "Mescalito" and "Roadhouse Sun," the latter of which reached the charts. This week, the New Mexico native was slated to play the Vaudeville Mews, but ticket demands forced promoters to move the show to the larger People's Court.