Top Shelf Drug
Label: Axster Bingham Records
The gravelly-voiced Oscar winner retreated to the California mountains in an Airstream trailer, where he wrote the lion's share of this album in self-imposed exile. But with a new band supporting him, Bingham seems more upbeat than ever (as upbeat as he gets, anyway). "Nobody Knows My Trouble" is a shuffling, mid-tempo charmer whose lyrics seem to parallel Bingham's hard-knock life, while "Broken Heart Tattoos" has him contemplating fatherhood: "You are unborn and yet to be scarred with tattoos," he croons before giving life advice to his unborn child. It's sweet, honest and even optimistic.