Ryan Bingham did not have a one-year party for his latest album, "Fear and Saturday Night," which came out Jan. 20, 2015.
But playing the songs for all that time on the road has been illuminating for the New Mexico-born singer-songwriter, who's best known for Academy and Golden Globe-winning music for the 2009 film "Crazy Heart."
"It's the same with every album; you never now how people re going to respond to the songs, how they're going to take to them," Bingham, 34, explains by phone from a recent tour stop in Minneapolis. "It always seems like people need some time with songs before they can develop experiences with them and have time to relate their own stories to the tunes.
"I mean, a lot of these song aren't really written to be radio hits. They're not riddled with hooks or things like that, so that can make it harder to really build a relationship with them. So it's always interesting for me six months after the record comes out to see what songs people are singing along to at shows and hear their stories about how they're relating to the songs."
Bingham's connection with the material is particularly intimate, of course. Much of the material on "Fear and Saturday Night" -- which Bingham wrote in a renovated Airstream trailer in a remote part of the California mountains -- is "just dealing with a lot of stuff in my past." That includes a father who committed suicide and a mother who died from alcohol abuse -- dark emotional terrain, but not without some light, he contends.
"I'm in a better spot in my life now," says Bingham, who has a seven-month-old daughter with his wife, Anna. "I had a rough couple of years back with my previous two albums, and writing songs has always reflected what's going on in my life. You can't have the highs without the lows. I'm not different from anyone else, except by coincidence I write songs and play music for a living."
Friday, Jan. 29. Doors open at 7 p.m.
Saint Andrews Hall, 431 E. Congress St., Detroit.
Tickets are $25.
Call 313-061-6358 or visit saintandrewsdetroit.com.
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