A real life cowboy with a knack for writing sad songs, Bingham has lived and breathed the difficult subject matter of his songs, and he very well may be one of the most authentic musicians out there. Anybody who has listened to country music over the last 15 years ought to know this.
Despite a lot of listens on his top few songs, Bingham’s music and talent seem to fly a little too far under the radar for my liking. Luckily, his role as Walker on Paramount Network’s Yellowstone series has revitalized Bingham in the eyes of many country music fans. His music is also prominently featured in the show, as his character is essentially a reflection of him… a hardworking musician. To say he’s underrated might be an understatement, but hopefully he’s on the cusp of receiving the appreciation and recognition he deserves as one of the greats on the country scene.
Having released seven albums, including a live records, as well as a live EP, Bingham has an extensive catalog of music to be explored, songs that transcend the country genre. His music tells stories of struggle, heartache, and love, and the signature gravel in his voice is as distinct and unique as it gets.
So that being said, here are my ten favorite Ryan Bingham songs:
10. “Radio” – Fear and Saturday Night (2015)
9. “Hard Times” – Mescalito (2007)
8. “Nobody Knows My Trouble” – Fear and Saturday Night (2015)
7. “Tell My Mother I Miss Her So” – Roadhouse Sun (2009)
6. “The Weary Kind” – Junky Star (2010)
One of his most popular songs, it’s also one of the most critically acclaimed. Originally written for the 2009 film Crazy Heart, this song won Bingham a number of awards, including a Golden Globe, a Grammy, and an Academy Award.
5. “Wolves” – American Love Song (2019)
“The howling moon would cry, I’d sleep the sun away I was just a child, I knew I was afraid There was nothin’ to gain, I found, by runnin’ the other way I had to stand my ground, and keep the wolves at bay”
4. “Top Shelf Drug” – Fear and Saturday Night (2015)
A rock and roll love song of sorts, this is an extremely underrated Bingham tune. There’s also a pretty tasty guitar solo in there, which makes the song that much better.
“You shot me up, baby, with a wonderful love I got a little taste, now I can’t get enough You shot me up, baby, with a wonderful love Runnin’ through my veins like a top shelf drug.”
3. “Southside of Heaven” – Mescalito (2007)
Most popular song he’s ever released, and rightfully so. Released on his first studio album, “Southside of Heaven” got Bingham’s career rolling.
2. “All Choked Up Again” – Junky Star (2010)
In one of Bingham’s first scenes as Walker in Yellowstone, he asks the bunkhouse if they’d like to hear a happy or sad song. When they say happy, he plays them the saddest song he’s ever written. Gotta love it.
“I close my eyes and I wanna start runnin’ But my legs are broken and tied Everything around me starts spinnin’ And I realize I’m buried alive.”
1. “Hallelujah” – Junky Star (2010)
It’s catchy, it’s well written, it’s sad, and it’s as Ryan Bingham as it gets.