Athens, GA, artist David Barbe (pronounced like the doll) had already had a long and varied career before releasing his debut solo effort, Comet of the Season, in November of 2001. Most notably, he had been a member of Bob Mould's Sugar throughout the mid-'90s. Prior to that, he had led the influential Athens punk rock band Mercyland. He also fronted Buzz Hungry. In 1997, however, Barbe began making a name for himself on the other side of the console. He would go on to produce and engineer for such acts as Son Volt, Kelly Hogan, Harvey Milk, and Indigo Girl Amy Ray at his own Chase Park Transduction studios.
Barbe grew up in Atlanta, drawing early musical influence from his parents, who were big band musicians and session players. As a teen, he moved to Athens to attend the University of Georgia. He first started playing in Mercyland in 1985. In 1991, when that group broke up, Barbe found himself driving a delivery truck and trying to support his wife and baby. Shortly thereafter, he received two propositions that would determine the course of his career; local producer/engineer John Keane offered to tutor Barbe in the craft of engineering, and Bob Mould asked Barbe to join Sugar. Barbe left Sugar in 1995 to spend more time with his family and turned his attentions primarily to engineering. His 2001 debut, Comet of the Season, was recorded in spurts over a three-year period with a variety of Athens musicians. The eclectic album swings from psychedelia to indie pop to twang to bluesy explorations.