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A Dirty Dozen with JACK BARKSDALE – March 2022

| 4 March 2022 | Reply

Photo credit: Michael Lewis

According to a recent press release: “Ft. Worth, TX-based Americana singer-songwriter Jack Barksdale is set to release his first full-length studio album, Death of a Hummingbird, on March 4, 2022. The follow-up to his live album, Jack Barksdale: Live From Niles City (2019), and recorded over three August days in 2021 with producer/percussionist Mike Meadows at the invitation-only 3Sirens studio in East Nashville, Hummingbird finds the 14-year-old songwriter and guitar whiz honing his craft and working with other established artists. Under his ubiquitous red knit cap is a mind already insightful enough to describe the new album as “a chronicle of my continuous search for consciousness.” We get Jack to discuss new music, influences, and more…

1. Tell us a little about your latest release.  What might a fan or listener not grab the first or second time they listen through?  Are there any hidden nuggets you put in the material or that only diehard fans might find?

The album, Death of a Hummingbird, ended up being a collection of stories, thoughts, and arguments that flow together somewhat well. I reference a wide variety of subjects in the songs on this album, and I’m interested to see how many people discover them.

2. What got you into music, and can you tell us about the moment you realized you wanted to be a musician?

I got a little Toys ‘R’ Us guitar for Christmas when I was about 4, and I strummed it but it sounded terrible, so I asked my parents for guitar lessons because I wanted to be able to pick up an instrument and make it sound good. My hands were too small then, but when I was about 7, my hands were a little bigger so I got guitar lessons and I was hooked. For me, the most exciting thing in music is still just making something that sounds good.

3. Building on that, is there a specific song, album, performer, or live show that guided your musical taste?

I discovered Leonard Cohen’s music a couple years ago. He’s been one of my biggest inspirations ever since. His words never fail to shock you and widen your understanding.

4. If you could call in any one collaborator to do a song with, who would it be, and why?

Willie Nelson because he’s an icon. He crosses all genres. And he’s a dynamic songwriter.

5. What is your favorite activity when out of the studio and/or not on tour?  What do you like to do to unwind?

Every now and then, I like to go to a nature center by my house to watch and photograph birds. Especially in the last couple years, I’ve enjoyed learning about astrophysics and biology in my free time.

6. How would you describe your music to someone who’d never listened to you before? What is the one comparison a reviewer or fan has made that made you cringe or you disagreed with?

Trying to put each musician/songwriter/artist in a specific genre isn’t really how I think. Music is subjective and can be incredibly inclusive. So that is how I try to think of myself and others.

7. When your band is hanging out together, who cooks, who gets the drinks in, and who is first to crack out the acoustic guitars for a singalong?

I’m a solo artist, so it’s all me. My sister is a great baker, though.

8. When was the last time you were starstruck and who was it?

The last time I was starstruck was when I first met Verlon Thompson. Verlon was Guy Clark’s longtime collaborator and guitar player, and he’s a phenomenal songwriter and storyteller himself. I’ve gotten to play with Verlon several times now, and my album release show in Dallas has him and Max Gomez also on the bill.

9. What is the best part of being a musician? If you could no longer be a musician for whatever reason, what would be your dream job?

My favorite part of being a musician is the amazing community. I’m not sure what my dream job might be, but I think music will always be a part of my life.

10. What is one question you have always wanted an interviewer to ask – and what is the answer? Conversely, what question are you tired of answering?

I just really appreciate how welcoming the music community as a whole has been. Answering questions and interacting with the music community is an honor.

11. Looking back over your career, is there a single moment or situation you feel was a misstep or you would like to have a “do over,” even if it didn’t change your current situation?

There are a couple things here and there that I’m sure could have gone better, but overall I’m really happy with what I’ve gotten to do and where I am.

12. If you could magically go back in time and be a part of the recording sessions for any one record in history, which would you choose – and what does that record mean to you?

I would probably want to go back and see how Townes Van Zandt’s self-titled album, Townes Van Zandt, got made and see that masterpiece come together, piece by piece. That’s one of my favorite records of all time, and it’s such a true representation of Townes’ songwriting and storytelling abilities. You can’t beat it.






Category: Interviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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