RYAN BINGHAM AMERICAN LOVE SONG

LA-based singer-songwriter Ryan Bingham has always been possessed of a voice that seems to carry the weight of ages – a quality that found its clearest expression on 2015’s Fear and Saturday Night. With this, his 6th outing, Bingham and co-producer Charlie Sexton (Bob Dylan) set fire to the wind, charging headlong into a string of gloriously ragged brawlers and swampy blues stomps – eg energising opener ‘Jingle and Go’, supercharged rollick ‘Nothin’ Holds Me Down’, and Cajun-hued dancehall-shaker ‘Pontiac’. American Love Song is a heady, humid juke-joint rumble, reeling through the sounds of the 70s (the frayed, Neil Young-like glory of ‘What Would I’ve Become’), and peppered with palate-cleansing acoustic and down-tempo moments (rambler’s lament ‘Beautiful and Kind’), in which Bingham alternately searches for serenity once again (the affecting ‘Wolves’) and chronicles barroom seductions in real time (‘Lover Girl’). It’s never less than essential listening. Gareth Hipwell