Andrew Bingham
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Andrew Bingham

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"Andrew Bingham"

A debut album with a highly
rewarding and creative sound

(4/5 Stars)

A chance meeting with Phil Nicolo (a Grammy-winning producer who has worked alongside Dylan and Billy Joel to name a few) led to the recording of this album. Having spent years writing and performing songs for himself, Phil convinced Andrew that it was worth both their time putting Andrew’s talent on record to share with the world. I’m damn appreciative of that meeting, as it has created something really beautiful here.

With an emotional feel to it, the album’s title song is created in sparse surroundings but with a great groove. This certainly has a Greenwich Village sound about it which those who lived during the Summer of Love would find most appealing. Heck, I would even say that those who weren’t even born during those hazy days could adore this song as much as I have. Weak begins tenderly Weak begins tenderly Weak with the simplest of
arrangements, but is soon enriched by additional instrumentation which highlights Andrew’s creativity. Like many great songs, its rhythm seems to embed itself in your psyche and never seems to let go. The concluding track of a record is not always the finest, but this does not happen in the case of this album. The picking on Mine, is reminiscent of Ravi Shankar and when combined with Andrew’s vocals it should appeal to the most fickle of music fans.

It won’t be long before the heads of celebrated music companies will sit up and pay attention to what Andrew has to say. This Philadelphia artist is one whose career I will be paying close attention to. RH

From Maverick Magazine, May 2010 Issue - Maverick Magazine


"Penn Law Student Andrew Bingham Releases Debut Album"

Andrew Bingham L’10 dabbled in music for years until, midway through his first year at the University of Pennsylvania Law School, something clicked. “It wasn’t until law school that I was driven to make music as a creative outlet,” he says. Music soon became Bingham’s antidote to the pressures of law school. After intense days of class and legal writing, Bingham “would go home with a craving to play guitar and write music.” He often felt most creative when the pressures of law school were most severe. “Several of the songs I’m most pleased with came during finals week,” he observes. “That was kind of scary.”
Now in his third year at Penn Law, Bingham has just released his debut album, A Hoarder Wants to Give – produced by a Grammy-Award winner and featuring 13 original songs that range from rock to blues to alternative country. He held his CD release party at the Tin Angel in Philadelphia in September – with several Penn Law classmates in the audience – and is scheduled to play three other Philadelphia venues on Nov. 14, 18 and 19.

As a guitarist in high school and college, Bingham had played in a few jazz and rock bands, but says he didn’t take his music very seriously. He also wrote songs, but lacked an outlet for them because he didn’t think he had the right singing voice.

Eventually – with a little inspiration from Bob Dylan – Bingham decided to take a chance at singing the songs he wrote. “Dylan doesn’t have a conventionally good voice, but you want to listen to him,” Bingham explains. “It’s pretty amazing, really. I realized that if you have a good story and can intrigue people with your songs, people will listen to you.”

Sitting in a meeting during his 1L summer internship at New York Legal Assistance Group, listening to a colleague discuss resources available for indigent clients who need help beyond traditional legal assistance – such as those with hoarding disorder – a line entered Bingham’s head: “It’s so hard to keep this place clean with my stacks of magazines.” That lyric would inspire the song that would become the title track of Bingham’s debut album.

During his 2L year, Bingham completed the “Hoarder” song and wrote the 12 others on the album. He began recording the songs himself, but quickly realized that building a high-quality home studio would be cost-prohibitive. So Bingham researched recording studios in California’s Bay Area, where he planned to spend the summer.

Around this time, Bingham was shopping for an Afro-Peruvian drum, and mentioned his album aspirations to a drum dealer in Boston. As luck would have it, the dealer knew of a Grammy-Award winning producer in the Philadelphia area who he thought would match Bingham’s recording style. At the dealer’s suggestion, Bingham contacted the producer, Phil Nicolo. “It was serendipitous,” says Bingham, noting that Nicolo had recently recorded a song for Bingham’s unknowing mentor, Bob Dylan.

At the end of Bingham’s 2L year, Nicolo recorded a demo of Bingham singing and playing acoustic guitar. Nicolo liked Bingham’s sound and, having a soft side for the local Philadelphia music scene, agreed to produce Bingham for a fraction of his usual rate. Nicolo connected Bingham with a team of professional musicians to back his tracks and Bingham soon recorded his first album. He describes the experience as “the most fun I’ve ever had.”

Less than three weeks after recording the album, Bingham was in Palo Alto, Calif., working as a summer associate at Jones Day. While there, he received an assignment that would ease the transition from recording studio to law firm – helping a music producer develop a business plan related to her digital marketing efforts. “It was a great opportunity for me to see the crossroads of law and business and music,” he says. Currently a member of Penn Law’s Entrepreneurship Clinic, Bingham has another opportunity to work at this interdisciplinary crossroads – this time guiding a sole-proprietor in the music business through contract issues.

Bingham hopes to build a career around his passion for music, perhaps in the “gray area” where music meets business and law. “Recording the album helped me realize that following my passion for music is more important than the security of going to a big firm and having my career path laid out,” he explains. Bingham says he is “100 percent realistic” about the challenges of pursuing a non-traditional legal career. Nevertheless, he finds it “liberating” to embrace a degree of uncertainty. “Coming from the law, we tend to be inherently risk-averse. It was eye-opening to realize that the people I worked with on the album were extremely successful, but only because they had been willing to take risks to pursue their passion.”

Published November 3, 2009 - University of Pennsylvania Law School


"All Gigs Review Awards "Hoarder" Five Stars"

Running your finger down the side of the cellophane and opening up the gatefold sleeve with the excited anticipation of an 8 year old on Christmas Day - that's the beauty of an unheard CD. Music is a physical thing and needs to be held, but that's the old anti-digital argument and not for now.

My point is that the look of a set of songs IS important and A Hoarder Wants To Give by Andrew Bingham looks impressive.

However, even good looking covers can be deceptive and from its sepia tinted pictures of a ramshackle dwelling and a shepherd with his sheep, one might fully expect 13 songs of depression-era America - but that's not what this album is. What the listener gets is a baker's dozen of nicely crafted, lyrically sharp tales of angst, loss, fragility and the sheer joy of love.

The accompanying press release cites Wilco, Neil Young and Counting Crows as markers, and who am I to disagree, but post-Commotions Lloyd Cole sprung to my mind with a dash of Tom Baxter for good measure. Anyway comparisons are a lazy, if necessary evil and it's the tunes that count.

Bingham kicks off in strong style with the title track; a slow burning blues number about domestic incompatibility and continues in fine style ticking all the folk/pop buttons. The pace is mostly sedate punctuated by the Lou Reed-esq Done Reaching and Good Day's Work which rock along very pleasantly.

Add in the country twang of Fleabag Motel and the brittle beauty of the closers Death of A Poet and Mine and you've got something that I'd certainly spend my hard earned cash on - luckily I don't have to!

A Hoarder Wants to Give by Andrew Bingham is released by Andrew Bingham Music and is available on CD or digital download from iTunes, CD Baby.com and www.AndrewBinghamMusic.com

-Adrian Phillips
- Allgigs.co.uk


Discography

A Hoarder Wants to Give

Photos

Bio

After years of writing songs in the dark and performing them for no one, Andrew emerged from the shadows to share with the world. It took a serendipitous meeting with Grammy-winning producer Phil Nicolo (Billy Joel, Bob Dylan, Aerosmith, Fugees) to finally encourage Andrew to record his creations. “A Hoarder Wants to Give,” a collection of thirteen original songs, is what came from Andrew's sessions with Nicolo.

Throughout Andrew’s storytelling there is an audible repression--at times even angst--in the volatile vocal delivery that punctuates the complex personalities of Andrew’s characters. Although Andrew puts many of the characters in his songs through the dark reaches of depression (A Prayer, Weak) and loneliness (Michelangelo), he graces others with glorious moments of newfound romance (Fleabag Motel) and informed love (Mine). “A Hoarder Wants to Give,” in short, tells the stories of tragic characters held back from happiness by obsessions and character flaws, while others find a moment of ironic beauty in a tragic world.

Andrew teamed with an all-star list of east coast talent to record the record, including drummer Chuck Treece (McRad), bassist Jim Miades (Stargazer Lily), keyboardist Jeff Thomas (The Queue), and percussionist Hoagy Wing (Slo-Mo). The record has its requisite share of folk rock acoustic ballads, but there are also moments of full-blown rock, blues and alt-country. Some moments of the album are reminiscent of Neil Young, Wilco, and Counting Crows, while others approach the sparse, wan territory of Jeff Buckley and Cat Power. The album was released on September 26th, 2009.