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Ryan Bingham 

Junky Star (Lost Highway)

If Ryan Bingham’s Academy Award in any way went to this young man’s head (his song “The Weary Kind” won Best Original Song Oscar for the film Crazy Heart), it doesn’t show. There is no catering to the masses or cashing in at all on his third album. Bingham is still singing about hard-living, wayward souls with that cigarette-abused gravely vocal of his ---that you either love or hate. With the help of T Bone Burnett’s production skills, Junky Star combines the best parts of his first two discs: the rawness of his 2007 debut with the more honed song structures of 2009’s Roadhouse Sun. It’s an incredible leap of progression for an artist who has a firm grasp on the alt-country crown that Ryan Adams tossed aside years ago.
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