Many of you local to the FWD have come across the name Jack Barksdale in the last few years. The slide playing, guitar slinging, and string bending 11 year old has been blowing away enthralling crowds of people since he was nine years old.
(Jack Barksdale playing slide at Fort Worth Live on 8/5/2018 Photo by: Brooks Burris)
I first heard about Barksdale from a good friend of mine by the name of Jody Lee Caudel from Texas Home Grown Radio out of Stephenville, TX. Caudel had been posting non stop to social media about this young kid that was playing a guitar better than most of the college students striking out on their dreams of stage fame. It drew me in but not entirely until I had the pleasure of meeting him. I first met Jack when TXRDR was running a show earlier this year at Magnolia Motorlounge here in Fort Worth, TX. Jack like most kids was at first shy and quiet. But then Justin went live on the air and his silence blended in nicely with the rest of the crowd. Except he wasn't being quiet just to be polite. No, no, no... He was listening intently to the artists on the stage and to Frazell doing his thing from segment to segment. It wasn't to long after that the we had him on the show.
From that point on Jack started to turn more heads in Fort Worth by playing music with some of the best. He's shared the stage to date with Ray Wylie Hubbard, Hayes Carll, Walt Wilkins, Wade Bowen, Courtney Patton, Guthrie Kennard, Keegan Mcinroe and Dalton Domino here recently.
Along with his lyrics his actual playing is strides ahead of most kids between 11 - 18 years of age. We might live in the Youtube era where you can load your next lesson with a stroke of the hand and click of a button and not have to listen to records often. But Jack seems to practice a little more old school than most. He can finger pick, he can play slide, his rhythm and blues runs deep with in his soul and it shows from time to time in his picking variety. All of that comes from observing the show live and first hand. Which he does week in and week out. Whether he's playing a show or watching others he is always studying the craft.
Earlier this summer around mid July, I got to see first hand why Jack was invited on the show and than to top it all off, invited to play the largest Texas Music based philanthropic event in Tarrant County, the coveted Pickin' For Preemies!
(As seen in the video above Jack Barksdale plays an original titled "I Haven't Had The Blues Yet".)
Being that he was the only 11 year old on the stage that Sunday in July, Barksdale still shocked the crowd with his playing ability. Not to mention the talent that he shared the stage with that day was just as impressed.
With the help of his parents Brent and Clara, Jack goes to other musicians shows where he can learn first hand how to play music and at the same time entertain the crowd. And his study of others bleeds into his approach while on stage time and time again. With the help of some of Stephenville's music community and a few in the Fort Worth music community, Barksdale has been welcomed with open arms.
There's something to be said for a young talented man like Jack. Not even in his teens, he has harnessed the want and the beginnings of the know how to chase down a dream that most wouldn't dare to attempt.
On August 26th of this year make it a point to be at Pickin' For Preemies. Not only for the good cause but also for a glimpse into what might be the future of the Texas and Red Dirt Music Scene. The one life force that makes all of this a reality is the love of music. And Barksdale is living that through his playing.
And That's That!
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