Ryan Bingham Counts His ‘Weary’ Blessings at the Grammys
Country music stood proud at the 53rd Annual Grammy Awards Sunday night (February 13). From Lady Antebellum dominating with five wins to the ‘Crazy Heart‘ soundtrack continuing its winning streak, the mother of all music awards shows gave credit where it was due.
“I was just really excited to be a part of ‘Crazy Heart,’ let alone write any songs,” Ryan Bingham told the press room after winning the Best Song Written for Motion Picture with the film’s ‘The Weary Kind.‘ “I really didn’t really know what I was going to be contributing. I wrote the song before it was filmed. It was basically just reading about the characters, realizing this guy’s life and who he was, where’d he been, where he was going. Thinking through some people I’d met running around Texas and New Mexico, playing these little roadhouse bars — musicians that you meet that are along those same lines as that character — and going off of that.”
The tune also garnered Ryan an Oscar and Golden Globe win last year for Best Original Song. “It’s incredible,” he acknowledged. “It’s been a hell of a ride. All this stuff flies by so fast and happens so quick. Afterward you look back on it, let it soak in and see what it’s all about.”
During the pre-telecast segment of the awards, songwriter Josh Kear picked up the Best Country Song trophy for Lady Antebellum’s big winner, ‘Need You Now.’ His co-writers, Charles Kelley, Hillary Scott and Dave Haywood were unable to join him since they were rehearsing for their performance on the telecast.
Josh took the opportunity to explain how quickly the song was written. “Actually, it was the second song we wrote that day,” he said. “We were only together for two-and-a-half hours. We finished the first one in the first 45 minutes. Charles had a guitar thing and an opening line for a song and we wrote ‘Need You Now’ really fast and went, “great, that was fun.” It was the first day I’d ever spent with them. They went their separate ways: it was Charles wife’s birthday, I went home to my wife. Next thing you know it, it’s on the record, title track, first single and here we are. It was actually the very last song they played for the label for deciding what songs were going to put on the album.”
In that environment, is it possible to remember who wrote what? What about the ‘I’m a little drunk line’? “It’s weird, I’ve been told a couple times by members of the band that it was me, but we wrote the lyrics so fast and there was so much going on in the room, who knows?” Josh admitted. “I don’t think any of us can really take much credit for much of any of it, other than being present.”
Train took home Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group With Vocals for the live iTunes version of their song ‘Hey, Soul Sister.’ If you remember, the song was also remixed and released to country radio last year.
“It’s like a brand new beginning, isn’t it?” Train’s Pat Monahan told the press room. “It feels really nice to be back in the music business with a bunch of new artists who make music feel like a family now instead of a competition. It feels really great to be back here.”
The Black Keys‘ Dan Auerbach, who ripped up some Bill Monroe and Carter Family tunes Saturday night (February 12) with Dierks Bentley, won Best Alternative Music Album for ‘Brothers.’ The group walked the red carpet for the first time leading to one very interesting conversation. “We got interviewed by [MTV reality star] The Situation,” Dan explained. “A low point in our lives.”
Best Contemporary Folk Album went to Ray LaMontagne and the Pariah Dogs for ‘God Willin’ & The Creek Don’t Rise.’ When asked if he consider himself a contemporary folk artist, Ray had an interesting answer. “Not in the least,” he said. “When I think folk music, I think topical songs and I don’t write topical songs. I’ve seen some good friends [tonight], and now I’m going to do some drinking and some dancing.”
See our full Grammy recap of country winners, performers and presenters here.