Some artists harness their creativity from within the borders of tradition rather than a need to reach beyond for inspiration. Such is the case with flatpicking guitarist and songwriter Alan Barnosky, whose authentic and raw style sits proudly nestled within the realms of bluegrass, folk, and Americana. Inspired by the likes of Norman Blake, Doc Watson, and Townes Van Zandt, his music retains a deep-seated appreciation and respect for the American roots traditions of years past.
Barnosky released his debut solo record Old Freight in late 2017, a stripped-down songwriter record inspired by classic 1960s folk and bluegrass albums. Reduced to just the essential elements, Old Freight balances nuanced and subtle acoustic instrumentation with genuine songwriting to deliver ten songs that are raw and real. The album reached #10 in the March 2018 Folk DJ chart with two tracks in the top 5 songs, was the #15 album in the March 2018 Roots Music Report roots/rock chart, and received praise from various folk and Americana outlets including The Alternate Root, Cover Lay Down, and Ear To The Ground Music.
Alan Barnosky is quickly becoming known as an emerging folk and bluegrass songwriter. He was a showcase artist at the 2018 Southeast Regional Folk Alliance (SERFA), was selected to perform in the Songwriter Showcase at the 2018 IBMA World of Bluegrass festival, and was an honorable mention for the 2018 Telluride Troubadour songwriter competition. He has performed with various acoustic acts over the years and has played at the IBMA Bluegrass Ramble, the John Hartford Memorial Festival, and the Festival for the Eno, to name a few. In 2011 his group Wayward Roots earned second place in the Telluride Bluegrass Festival band competition.
Originally from southeast Michigan, Barnosky first emerged as a solo songwriter amid Washington, DC’s thriving folk and bluegrass music scene. He now lives in Durham, North Carolina where he performs solo and also plays with the bluegrass four-piece Counterclockwise String Band.
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 this year's Southeast Regional Folk Alliance Conference and will be 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
Photographs by John Gessner (left), Jason Beverly (right top), Ross Langdon Page (right bottom)