David Barbe
Born (1963-09-30) September 30, 1963 (age 58)
Atlanta, Georgia
GenresRock, Punk
InstrumentsBass guitar, guitar
Years active1985–present
Associated actsSugar, Mercyland, Buzz Hungry, Drive-By Truckers

David Barbe (pronounced ˈbɑɹ.bi BAR-bee; born September 30, 1963) is an American musician and producer/engineer from Athens, Georgia and director of the Music Business Certificate Program at the University of Georgia. He is chief of Chase Park Transduction studio in Athens.[1] Barbe is known for his work as a songwriter, singer, guitarist, and bass guitarist in Sugar, Mercyland, and Buzz Hungry, as well as solo performances. He has produced nearly every album by the popular country rock band Drive-By Truckers, and has worked as producer and engineer with Son Volt. He has an all-star solo band in Athens called the Quick Hooks.


David Barbe was musically influenced by his parents — "Time Lady" Jane Barbe and composer John Barbe — who were both big band musicians.[2]

Barbe and his wife, Amy, have three children — daughter Annabelle and sons Winston and Henry. He is a past president of the Athens-Clarke County Little League baseball league and has managed his sons' all-star teams to several city championships.[3]

Music career

Barbe moved to Athens, Georgia in 1981 to attend the University of Georgia. In Athens, he played occasional guitar with punk favorites Bar-B-Que Killers. He later formed his own group, Mercyland in 1985 and acted as the main songwriter, bassist, and co-lead singer. After Mercyland disbanded in 1991, he fronted Buzz Hungry.

He was tutored by John Keane in music production and engineering. Barbe also played with Bob Mould in the Sugar band. He contributed a number of songs, some from Buzz Hungry and some original, that were performed live and/or released as B-sides, such as 'Where Diamonds are Halos' which was also recorded as part of a BBC radio session. He left Sugar in early 1995.[4]

Barbe joined Mould for a full gig on October 18, 2009, at the Treasure Island Music Festival.[5]

In 1997, Barbe and two co-owners opened Chase Park Transduction studios in Athens.[6] Since opening Chase Park, Barbe has worked as a producer, engineer, writer and musician on hundreds of recording projects with many artists, including Drive-By Truckers, Deerhunter, the Glands, Jerry Joseph, Amy Ray, k.d. lang, and R.E.M.[7] Barbe has performed in a wide variety of "one-off" bands such as Christa McAuliffe and the Challengers and helped create or contribute to many cassette and vinyl compilation records around Athens and Atlanta such as Proud o' Me Gluttony and Some. He performed at AthFest 2007 with Jack Logan.[8] In 2011, Barbe remixed and reissued Mercyland’s sole full-length album, No Feet on the Cowling.[9]

In August 2010, Barbe was named interim director of the University of Georgia’s Music Business Certificate Program, then in March 2011 he was appointed the certificate program’s director on a permanent basis by Terry College of Business Dean Robert Sumichrast.[7]

David's parents, Jane and John Barbe, were inducted into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame on September 26, 2015.[10]


  1. ^ Young, Celeste Headlee, Trevor. "The Eclectic Musical Life Of Athens Producer David Barbe". www.gpbnews.org. Retrieved 2019-11-06.
  2. ^ "David Barbe | Biography & History". AllMusic. Retrieved 2019-11-06.
  3. ^ "Becoming David Barbe". THE BITTER SOUTHERNER. Retrieved 2019-11-06.
  4. ^ smith, lee; Nicoll, Gregory (November 7, 2001). "Safe at home". Creative Loafing Atlanta. Retrieved June 3, 2014.
  5. ^ "Treasure Island Music Festival". Treasure Island Music Festival. Retrieved 2019-11-06.
  6. ^ Lewczyk, Maria. "David Barbe". Flagpole Magazine | Athens, GA News, Music, Arts, Restaurants. Retrieved 2019-11-06.
  7. ^ a b Dodson, David (March 24, 2011). "Dropping interim title, David Barbe is appointed director of UGA's Music Business Certificate Program". Terry College of Business, University of Georgia. Retrieved June 3, 2014.
  8. ^ "Athfest 2007 Setlists". setlist.fm. Retrieved 2019-11-06.
  9. ^ "Mercyland : The AD Interview". Aquarium Drunkard. March 21, 2011. Retrieved June 3, 2014.
  10. ^ "List of 163 Musicians - Georgia Music Hall Of Fame Inductees | Georgia Music Hall and Education Resources". Retrieved 2019-11-06.