Durham, NC (by way of Michigan) flatpicking guitarist and songwriter Alan Barnosky expertly crafts Americana songs that detail the life of a modern troubadour. His critically acclaimed debut Old Freight, which was noted as being “a fantastic album, full of clever guitar work, excellent vocal performances, and punchy arrangements“ put him on the map as an artist to watch. Since its release he’s been a festival and showcase regular, appearing at the 2018 IBMA Songwriter Showcase, receiving an honorable mention at the Telluride Troubadour Contest, showcasing at the Southeast Regional Folk Alliance conference, and opening for genre mainstays The Steel Wheels, Robbie Fulks, and Charley Crockett. In addition to his work as a solo artist, he has performed with bands at the IBMA World of Bluegrass, Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival, and Bristol Rhythm and Roots. 2020 sees Barnosky poised to build on this momentum with the release of his sophomore work, as he returns with Lonesome Road on January 17th, an EP that spotlights instrumental prowess while remaining true to the honest songwriting, authentic delivery, and no-nonsense production for which he has become recognized.
A lifelong musician, Barnosky began playing bluegrass in his late teens as an upright bassist and only started singing and writing in his mid-twenties. “I moved from Michigan to North Carolina in 2012, and fit my most essential belongings into a 4-door car,” he recalls. “Unfortunately an upright bass would have taken up just about the entire car, so that got left behind – but I did squeeze in an old acoustic dreadnought guitar.” Then, living in a new place without a bass or bandmates to play music with, Barnosky starting flatpicking, writing, and working on his singing voice. A couple of the songs on Lonesome Road were first penned during that period.
An avid backpacker and cyclist in his spare time, Barnosky grants that a lot of the album was inspired by nature and his extensive time outdoors. A two-month solo bicycle tour quite literally served as the material for the title-track “Lonesome Road.” His new EP channels this experience–the life of a modern hobo making his way down the road to see what the next moment brings.
PARAGRAPH: Alan Barnosky is a flatpicking guitarist and songwriter proudly nestled within the realms of folk, bluegrass, and Americana. His recently released debut solo album Old Freight reached number 10 in the national Folk DJ Chart in March 2018, with two tracks off the record in the top 5 songs ("Old Freight" and "Bowling Green"). Barnosky was an official showcase artist at the 2018 Southeast Regional Folk Alliance Conference and featured in the Songwriter Showcase at the 2018 IBMA World of Bluegrass festival.
TWEET: Flatpicking guitarist and songwriter Alan Barnosky sits proudly within the realms of bluegrass, folk, and Americana. His recently released debut solo album Old Freight reached #10 in the national Folk DJ Chart in March 2018.
10 WORDS: Flatpicker-songwriter Alan Barnosky sings authentic songs with genuine grit.
Old Freight (2017): https://alanbarnosky.com/music
- 2018 Southeast Regional Folk Alliance (SERFA) official showcase artist
- 2018 IBMA World of Bluegrass Songwriter Showcase artist
- 2018 Telluride Troubadour Contest honorable mention
- March 2018 Folk DJ Chart - #10 album (Old Freight)
- March 2018 Folk DJ Chart - Two top 5 songs ("Old Freight" & "Bowling Green")
- March 2018 Roots Music Report - #15 roots/rock album
recommended if you like:
Justin Townes Earle, Norman Blake, Robbie Fulks, The Tallest Man on Earth, Joe Pug, Gillian Welch, Mandolin Orange, Charlie Parr, The Steel Wheels, Joe Purdy, Willie Watson
"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