Alan Barnosky is a multi-faceted musician keeping pace with the ever-changing expectations of the modern artist. He is a flatpicking guitarist, upright bassist, and songwriter, has released two solo albums, performs as a solo artist, works as a multi-instrumentalist for touring bands - including The Barefoot Movement, Farewell Friend, and Chatham Rabbits - and is a writer and teacher. Originally from Michigan, he now makes his home in central North Carolina.
A lifelong musician and fan of acoustic music from an early age, Barnosky began playing with bluegrass bands in his late teens, first in his home state of Michigan and then after he relocated to North Carolina in 2012. He made his independent debut in 2018 with the release of his first solo album Old Freight, becoming a favorite among independent radio stations (two top 5 songs in the March 2018 Folk DJ cart) and noted as being “a fantastic album, full of clever guitar work, excellent vocal performances, and punchy arrangements.” He gained recognition as a skilled songwriter and was invited to the 2018 IBMA Songwriter Showcase, received an honorable mention at the Telluride Troubadour Contest, and was an official showcase artist at the 2018 Southeast Regional Folk Alliance conference. His 2020 EP Lonesome Road similarly received praise from The Bluegrass Situation, Bluegrass Today, Americana UK, and IndyWeek.
Not a natural for the spotlight, Barnosky often prefers the quieter and more subtle art of performing as a supporting musician. For about five years he played bass with Chatham Rabbits, recording on two albums, performing throughout the Southeast, and appearing on the PBS series On The Road with Chatham Rabbits. In 2023 he joined The Barefoot Movement on guitar for their holiday tour performing throughout the Southeast and Midwest, including a live-streamed performance at The Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. He has toured with Greensboro, NC indie-folk band Farewell Friend, and regularly plays bass and guitar in local NC bluegrass bands including Counterclockwise String Band and The Eastside Ramblers.
Barnosky is also a devoted writer and teacher for all things flatpicking guitar. Since 2020 he has been a regular contributor for Acoustic Guitar Magazine, now with over 20 articles and two full-feature pieces, one on the life and playing style of Norman Blake and another on Doc Watson’s flatpicking approach and legacy. He provides private instruction from his home and remotely by Zoom, and occasionally offers group workshops.
"A fella that sings like this with this kind of work on the lyrics must be channeling Woody Guthrie... The pickin’ is real nice, but the vocal steals it... You just believe every line he sings."
Ear To The Ground Music
"We’re hereby declaring Old Freight ... nothing less than a new folk essential – one that doesn’t so much gather in the various influences which make modern singer-songwriter folk work as it reduces and transcends them, laying claim to the one-man, one-song center of the tent." Cover Lay Down
"Fans of old-school Joe Pug will hear the creaky voice, fans of old Tallest Man on Earth will hear the fingerpicking, and fans of folk will rejoice."
"What seems like a simple formula: acoustic guitar picking, sincere vocals, thoughtful lyrics and professional production is in fact nearly impossible. So when someone does it right and in this case for his debut record it’s a moment to celebrate." Songs:Illinois