By Claire Harlin
Grammy- and Oscar-winner Ryan Bingham will be kicking off a months-long tour for his new album at the Belly Up on March 1, but that’s not the only reason the rock ‘n’ roll star is excited to come to Solana Beach.
“I’m looking forward to playing, but I also come down and surf quite a bit,” said the L.A. resident and New Mexico native, who topped charts and raked in awards for his song “The Weary Kind” from the 2009 film “Crazy Heart.”
An avid surfer, Bingham learned from local surf guru Rusty Preisendorfer how to shape surfboards after the Rusty’s Del Mar owner — a fan of Bingham’s music — personally invited him to the San Diego warehouse where his popular brand was born. Ever since, Bingham has spent much of his time away from the stage and studio in the ocean or practicing shaping.
But for the next several months, Bingham won’t be getting much surf time as he will be traveling internationally performing his new album, “Tomorrowland.” He said it’s the first show of “I don’t know how many — a lot;” and that’s going to make the Belly Up performance that much more special.
“There’s always a lot of excitement around the first show of the tour,” he said. “It will be a unique one of it’s own kind … We don’t do the same set every night.”
While winning an Oscar, Golden Globe and Grammy for his “Crazy Heart” song was the biggest highlight of his 17-year professional music career so far, he said he doesn’t put pressure on himself to beat his previous achievements. His upcoming tour features his first record since that “once-in-a-lifetime” opportunity, he said, and “at the end of the day, it’s all about just playing and getting on the road.”
Not only was Bingham inspired by music icons such as Bob Dylan, The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin and Jimi Hendrix, but his sound has commonly been compared to the greats of singer-songwriter Tom Waits, a “flattering” honor, he said.
“I don’t even know how to react to that sort of stuff,” he said. “That’s big shoes to fill.”
For more information, visit www.binghammusic.com, and for tickets visit