The South Carolina Music Guide
Get To Know

Get To Know – Alan Barrington

SCMG – Who are the members of your band?

Alan – I have a wonderful family of musicians. Primarily we are a three piece, which is, Ken Bryan on bass guitar/vocals, Thad Bradley on drums/vocals, and myself on acoustic guitar/E-guitar/dobro guitar/lead vocals. If the venue or agents request more than a trio we also have David Huberman sit in on keys. I’ve been working with these talented musicians for over five years and we punch out some great harmonies. I’m a lucky guy to have them.

SCMG – What genre do you consider yourself?

Alan – To the core I’m a singer/songwriter.  Sometimes it’s difficult to define a genre in my mind. In my opinion it’s bastardized music. It’s new-folk, jazz, and blues with a pulse.  Others have called it Americana, old blues, or Blues-Americana. I think it’s important during a show to change the sound or genre up to bend the ear of the listener. It makes for a more entertaining and engaging show. I have a strong emphasis on the lyric. I like to think of my songs are designed from the neck up.

SCMG – What was your biggest accomplishment in 2017?

Alan – Last summer we were booked through Outlaw Nation USA to perform at a music festival in Raleigh, NC. The venue was (a big place) Dorton Arena. That was a lot of fun because they do all the work! We just show up and perform.  In 2017 we picked up a couple more booking agents too. We started a new album project and look forward to wrapping it up in 2018! I also had around 110 bookings for the year as a solo, or with the band. If you’re not performing, you’re not eating.

SCMG – What are your plans for 2018?

Alan – We already have bookings into November of 2018, and a tour is being currently worked on as well. We’ve also been talking to Outlaw Nation USA for a short tour up in Pennsylvania and Ohio. I have a basket full of new tunes so we plan to spend a lot of time in the studio for our next release.  It’s going to be a busy year!

SCMG – Where and when can we find you?

Alan – Look for show dates in Charleston, Columbia, York, and Rock Hill, South Carolina. Also, we’ll be in Charlotte, Ballantyne Village, Huntersville, and Spindale, North Carolina. We also have show dates out of state. For those of you reading outside of the Carolinas please see our calendars at , or

SCMG – Who would you consider your biggest local influence?

Alan – Steven Swinford, because we were like musical brothers. We also toured together in the band “Jedidiah”, and as a duo. Steven produced my last two albums; Looking For a Novel and Country Blues. Steven is also an amazing guitarist.  Sadly, Steven passed away unexpectedly last January. He leaves behind his wife Stacy and two young boys. Steven also has a collection of instrumental music that can be found on his website.

My other local influence would be my good friend Steve Simpson. Steve and I have performed in a lot of song circles together over the years, and he has a real gift as a wordsmith. Sometimes if I have a question about a lyric I’m working on I’ll ask him to have a look-see. Steve is also the coordinator of the Rock Hill, SC NSAI chapter. That’s Nashville Songwriter Association International.  You can hear some of his music at

SCMG – What would they say about you?

Alan – Steven Swinford would say what he always said. Love and gratitude. Steve Simpson would always have something positive to say. He’s an upbeat kind of guy.

SCMG – Who would you like to work with but haven’t yet had the chance?

Alan – That’s a hard one. Working with Steven Swinford on my last two projects was such a delight and blessing. It’s going to be hard to find someone to fill his shoes. We used to have a saying when we worked together: “Play the song not your instrument.”   It’s great to play with talented folks but if they’re not playing the song they’re just making noise.

SCMG – What are your favorite albums of all time from any musician?

Alan – John Hiatt – Slow Turning, Keb Mo – Keb Mo, Emmylou Harris – White Shoes, Dan Fogelberg  – The Netherlands, Vince Gill – Guitar Slinger

SCMG – If you could meet any of your favorite musicians, who would you choose and why?

Alan – I would have liked to have met Hank Williams because of the honesty in his lyrics. My dad loved Hank music, and I kind of grew up hearing it a lot. My mama used to say “I can’t stand it. He’s too damn depressing.”

Also, I would like to meet Keb Mo because of his finger style of picking the blues, and writing intelligent lyrics in a blues genre. You really don’t hear many great lyrics in blues music; however Keb Mo nails it.



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