Music

Song Premiere: Jack Barksdale Shares the Highs and Lows of the Road on 'Painted White Line'

Michael Lewis

At the age of 13, Texas Americana phenom Jack Barksdale has already shared the stage with the likes of Hayes Carll, Bruce Robison and Ray Wylie Hubbard. So when he sings about the trials of a touring musician, he's singing his truth.

Barksdale says "Painted White Line," which he co-wrote with Billy Hartman, was intended to be more upbeat, but evolved into a plaintive reflection of life on the road.

"I wrote 'Painted White Line' with Billy Hartman. Billy and I have been friends for years and I really enjoy writing with him," Barksdale tells Wide Open Country. "Originally, it was supposed to be a more upbeat, Steve Earle-esque, truck-driving song, but it evolved into a slower, fingerpicking, homesick song."

Like many singer-songwriters, Barksdale has turned to Zoom for co-writes during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"The virtual songwriting process, just like anything else, has its pros and cons. It obviously makes it easier to write with people that live far away, and it's also very convenient for people with tight schedules," Barksdale says. "If you think about it, you don't have to move to Nashville, L.A., or New York to consistently write with people anymore. That being said, it's also a little strange, especially when you're writing with someone you've never met before. But I've known Billy for about four or five years so it's always a lot of fun to co-write with him. I still prefer to write in-person, though."

Listen to "Painted White Line" below.

Barksdale released his debut album Revival in 2018. Most recently, Barksdale launched his podcast, Jack Barksdale's Roots Revival Podcast.

For more information on Barksdale, visit his official website.

'Painted White Line' Lyrics:

It's a long way home
And I'm feeling alone
I got to get out of here
It's been some time
Since I walked that line
And I ain't leaving out of fear
Baby said she's waiting
Now I can't be hesitating
I'm moving like a screaming train
Lord I never hoped to find
That the painted white line
Ain't the friend that I thought it'd be
Ain't the friend that I thought it'd be
I'm six months out
And without a doubt
I've seen all that I can see
The days are dragging by
Like a turtle on the side
Of the road and it's killing me
Baby said she's crying
And I know that I'd be lying
If I said I wasn't crying too
Lord I never hoped to find
That the painted white line
Ain't the friend that I thought it'd be
Ain't the friend that I thought it'd be
All the miles and the hours
And the slow driving cowards
Keep getting in my way
If I could just get home
So I could be alone
With my baby then I'll be okay
Oh Lord help me find my way
I can't slow down
I go from town to town
Hoping I'll reach the end
I wake up every morning
Never even knowing
Where I am or where I've been
I'm worn and I'm faded
I'm discombobulated
There's got to be another way
Lord I never hoped to find
That the painted white line
Ain't the friend that I thought it'd be
Ain't the friend that I thought it'd be
It's just another day
And what can I say
I'm feelin' tired and broke down
My soul is feeling haggard
My mind is feeling staggered
But my thoughts are feeling sound
And time goes on
As still as a pond
On a cold December's day
Lord I never hoped to find
That the painted white line
Ain't the friend that I thought it'd be
Ain't the friend that I thought it'd be
Lord I wish It'd been better to me
Ain't the friend that I thought it'd be

 

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Song Premiere: Jack Barksdale Shares the Highs and Lows of the Road on 'Painted White Line'