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.”

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