Ryan Bingham

Hard to believe it’s only been three years, almost to the date, since Ryan Bingham released his major label debut, Mescalito. What began as another project on Lost Highway Records by a former bullrider is now one of the hottest commodities in American music.

The 29-year-old was recently named Artist of the Year at the 2010 Americana Music Awards in Nashville, and even that may not be his greatest achievement, considering he already has an Oscar.

Photo: Jason Moore

Bingham, with T Bone Burnett, wrote “The Weary Kind,” the signature song of the movie “Crazy Heart” starring Jeff Bridges as a down-and-out country songwriter. “The Weary Kind” was named best original song at the 82nd Academy Awards. (Trivia: Bingham won an equivalent award at the Golden Globes but never got to the stage because he was in line to get a beer).

According to agent Kyle Wilensky, Bingham (who is currently out headlining after supporting Willie Nelson) is doing sellout business in major and secondary markets. He recently sold out Chicago and Philadelphia on the onsale and added second shows in each market that also quickly sold out. Bingham also had an advance sellout at the Bowery Ballroom in NYC as well as sellouts in markets like Cincinnati, Albany, N.Y., and St. Louis, Mo.

“He walks the line between the Texas music scene and a hard-hitting indie rocker,” Wilensky said. “He’s absolutely not a country artist. In Texas, obviously, there are a lot more fans wearing cowboy hats. But at an L.A. show, you get a lot of the same crowd that’s going to see Wilco, Band of Horses or Gov’t Mule.”

Photo: Rod Tanaka / TanakaPhoto.net

Bingham is currently managed by his wife, Anna Axster.

Ryan Bingham’s awards to date include one Academy Award and one Golden Globe Award for the song “The Weary Kind” for the movie “Crazy Heart,” and two Americana Music Association awards, including Artist of the Year.