Ryan Bingham / honeyhoney
After 2010's Junky Star, former rodeo bull rider Ryan Bingham buried Dead Horses, his old band, veered off Lost Highway, his old label, and set off on his own for Tomorrowland. The latter, his fourth album, isn't about the utopia the term once suggested. But it is about hope for the future, rooted in acknowledgment of today's grim realities. Like Woody Guthrie, whose spirit is specifically invoked in Tomorrowland's final tune, "Too Deep to Fill," Bingham addresses an array of injustices — skewed economics, homelessness, discrimination — and musters the revolutionary zeal to correct them, not only lyrically but mostly with roots-fired rock 'n' roll that's ragged, wiry, full of grit, and irrepressible. Dusty country, blues, and hard folk still weave through the music — the last especially on the Springsteen-like ballad "Flower Bomb" — but the spirit is rebellious, outsider rock: "We got a heart full of rhythm that they don't understand," Bingham snarls, his charismatically scratchy voice biting with mercurial agility. There's a lot of guitar on the album, along with driving rhythms that stoke the adrenalin, and Bingham and his band should really crank it up live. Opening will be honeyhoney, the duo of Suzanne Santo and Ben Jaffe, who conjure twangy country-rock with dual pop/Appalachian inclinations. 18+.
Sun., March 17, 7 p.m., 2013
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