DFW Music News

Jack Barksdale Is Back with His Single ‘Man in the Shadows’

Jack Barksdale is back with his new single “Man in the Shadows” and a music video to boot.
Jack Barksdale is back with his new single “Man in the Shadows” and a music video to boot. Scott Cook

Jack Barksdale, the 12-year-old powerhouse blues-Americana singer-songwriter, is back with his new single “Man in the Shadows” and a music video to boot. The song, Barksdale says, is about the internal conflicts people have within themselves.

“Some of these are more serious than others,” Barksdale says. “I wanted to record this song and film the music video because internal struggle is something we all deal with — our own version of a ‘Man in the Shadows.’ If you’re going through something, no matter how big or small, you should never be ashamed to talk to someone.”

Talking to a fellow musician, Barksdale was challenged to write a song in two weeks and perform it at his next show. And the young musician is not one to turn down a challenge. He went home that day and came up with the line ‘man in the shadows.’

"As I kept writing it, it kind of became a song about that little person inside your head — that little part of you that you keep quiet from everybody." — Jack Barksdale

tweet this
“Originally, it wasn’t really about anything,” Barksdale says of the song. “I was just kind of writing it as part of that challenge, but as I kept writing it, it kind of became a song about that little person inside your head — that little part of you that you keep quiet from everybody."


Two weeks later, Barksdale was onstage at the Bugle Boy in La Grange, Texas, debuting his new tune. Not long after that, he had a show at a studio in Opelika, Alabama.

“While we were staying there, Jack’s like ‘Well, I’ve got this song, so I’ll just record it,’” Brent, Jack’s dad, says.

Jack recorded the guitar, vocals and piano and had his sister Gracie hop in the vocal booth to lay down some harmonies. He sent the tracks to producer Taylor Tatsch to add the drum tracks and produce the final version of the song. “Man in the Shadows” was then mastered by Todd Pipes.

The Barksdales then spent half a day at Haltom Theater in Haltom City to record the music video for “Man in the Shadows.” The video features footage of Jack performing the song on guitar and piano on top of eerie shots of the man in the shadows running around a dimly lit Haltom Theater.

The track and music video follow the release of Jack’s first album Jack Barksdale  Live From Niles City released in June.

Watch "Man in the Shadows" below:
KEEP THE DALLAS OBSERVER FREE... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Jacob Vaughn, a former Brookhaven College journalism student, has written for the Observer since 2018, first as clubs editor. More recently, he's been in the news section as a staff writer covering City Hall, the Dallas Police Department and whatever else editors throw his way.
Contact: Jacob Vaughn