Track Premiere: I’m Caving In from Alan Barnosky

Alan Barnosky is a guitarist, singer, and songwriter from Michigan who discovered his muse after relocating to North Carolina in 2012. Originally a bassist, he left the upright behind in the move when he realized it wouldn’t fit in the car with the rest of his belongings, and began to explore the guitar he managed to bring along.

These explorations led to a debut recording of original music, Old Freight, in 2017 which generated praise for his singing, guitar work, and original compositions. Now comes a second, Lonesome Road, due for release on January 17.

Barnosky has agreed to share a track from the album with our readers, one titled I’m Caving In, which he says is a good reflection of his primary guitar influences.

“This song is intended to be tongue-in-cheek. It takes the perspective of the lousy do-nothing boyfriend who is just starting to realize he’s been dumped. I think the narrator is relatable in some ways but he’s also just mostly annoying. You feel bad for him because he realizes it’s all his fault and he is at his wits’ end about the situation, but in the same sense, he totally deserves it.

When it comes to music I’m a traditionalist at heart, and as a guitarist am probably most influenced by Norman Blake and Doc Watson. Their classic melody-driven flatpicking styles draw me in and I love the rawness they both capture in their recordings. Doc Watson’s early solo recordings are some of my favorites, and in my view, Norman Blake is up there as one of the finest American songwriters. That being said, this track, in particular, was mostly inspired by Jimmie Rodgers. It opens with a guitar run that he used often, follows a similar chord pattern to his blue-yodel songs, and even ends with a yodel. Granted the final product might not sound much like a Jimmie Rodgers song – it is faster and has more of a bluegrass drive – but the influence was definitely there when writing it.”

Lonesome Road is available for preorder on CD from Alan’s web site, and digitally from the popular streaming and download sites.

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.