Becky Barksdale

Born April 27, 1961                       Port Arthur, TX

Becky Barksdale grew up in Port Arthur, TX. Becky's grandfather gave her a guitar when she was twelve years old, and by the time she was sixteen, she was gigging with local musicians.

 

A rare performer, Becky Barksdale embodies the vast Texas blues guitar tradition of Freddie King, the assertive independence of Bessie Smith, and the raw, passionate vocals of Janis Joplin. "My biggest influences were all of the other musicians I played with," she asserts.

 

After working with boogie-blues masters Canned Heat, Barksdale landed the lead guitar spot with Michael Jackson, adding some fiery punch to his 1993 Dangerous World Tour.

 

The first artist to be signed by the House of Blues music company, Barksdale completed two compilations before releasing Real Live, a gripping mélange of electric blues and steamy rock. Cowgirl Blues, an EP of five original songs, unearthed her country roots (two great uncles were members of the Sons of the Pioneers). Blues Revue Magazine declared that there was "More emotion packed into the dozen real-deal blues tracks on Out of the Blue than racks of others."

Those unfamiliar with Barksdale's discography will often recognize her musical compositions on numerous trailers and soundtracks for popular motion pictures like Mission Impossible III, Straight Outta Compton, Wild, Terminator, Predator, Inception, Munich, Cold Mountain, Finding Neverland, and Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Especially noteworthy is a rendition of "Amazing Grace" for The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning.

 

Of her live shows, Guitar Player Magazine writes that she plays with an "unearthly intensity." Fender Frontline Magazine adds that she plays with "soft crying bends" and "solos that sting like well-placed uppercuts."  

Ultimately, for Barksdale, interacting with an audience is more fun than toil. "This may sound weird," she insists, "but often, I'll walk off the stage and won't know what happened. I get into this zone where I feel completely connected with everyone in the place, and nothing else matters. It's the ultimate vacation." 

Becky Barksdale performs with Michael Jackson on Dangerous Tour.
Tex Ritter Portrait