Songwriter, producer, teacher, multi-instrumentalist…
David Barbe is always writing songs, but he’s usually too busy to actually record them. It took him seven years to make his latest solo album, 10th Of Seas, a set of beautifully abrasive, sharply inventive, occasionally humorous Southern pop songs that nod to nearly every phase of Athens, Georgia, music lore.
For 30 years he’s been a key figure in that scene, playing in numerous bands (including the BBQ Killers), producing nearly every Drive-By Truckers album, and teaching classes at the University Of Georgia Music Business Program.
“Even though I would think about making a new album during that seven years,” he says, “I couldn’t create the headspace while devoting my creative energy to making dozens of other ones, which I love as much as my own albums.”
When he finally set aside time at his Chase Park Transduction studio, he played every instrument himself. “The harder I drove the gear, the better it sounded to me. And not just distorting guitars. Drums, piano, vocals – pretty much everything on there is being pushed in some way. My associate producer heard it and said it sounded like I had just ‘dialled a lot more personality into it’. That phrase became our mantra.”