Jeremy Barnes

Jeremy Barnes (born September 18, 1976) is an American musician. He plays accordion, percussion and other instruments. He has been a member of the bands Neutral Milk Hotel, Beirut, and A Hawk and a Hacksaw, and is a co-creator of the record label L.M. Dupli-cation. Influences on his work include music from Eastern Europe, Turkey, and the Caucasus.

Jeremy Barnes
Three members of A Hawk and a Hacksaw performing at the Dionysus Club. From left to right: Mark Weaver, tuba; Heather Trost, violin; Jeremy Barnes, accordion and percussion
Background information
Born (1976-09-18) September 18, 1976
Albuquerque, New Mexico, United States
OriginAlbuquerque, New Mexico, USA
GenresFolk, Balkan, Mariachi
Occupation(s)Accordionist, musician
InstrumentsAccordion, drums, piano, santur, davul
Years active1996–present
LabelsThe Leaf Label, L.M. Dupli-cation
Associated actsA Hawk and a Hacksaw, Neutral Milk Hotel, Beirut, Bablicon, The Gerbils


Barnes was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico, the son of a local businessman. In 1995 he moved to Chicago to attend DePaul University but left his studies in January 1996, aged 19.[1] He joined Neutral Milk Hotel, which was a part of the Athens, Georgia-based Elephant 6 music collective. Neutral Milk Hotel disbanded in 1998 and Barnes spent time traveling in Europe and working as a postman.[2] He also played with Broadcast, The Gerbils and Bablicon.

Barnes cites his initial introduction to Eastern European music as having been in 1999 while on tour. After being introduced to Bulgarian music, he lived in a predominantly Ukrainian Chicago neighborhood and developed an interest in Romanian music.[3]

"I was kind of at a dead end in what I was listening to, and it just opened up a whole new world for me," he said in a 2011 interview with Noise Narcs. "That was in 1999. For a while it affected the way I looked at my music, but I was still playing drums in bands, and it didn’t seem like something I should pursue. You go through these fads or trends as a listener, where you’re really into something for a month and then it changes. But with this music, it’s been now twelve years or more, and it gradually seeped into everything that I do."[3]

In 2001 he formed A Hawk and a Hacksaw,[4] in France. In 2005 he met Heather Trost, who performs with him in A Hawk and A Hacksaw. Both Barnes and Trost contributed to the debut album by Beirut, Gulag Orkestar.

A Hawk and A Hacksaw's recording and touring line-up over the years has included Hungarian, Romanian, and English musicians, notably Fanfare Cioclaria, Ferenc Kovacs, Balász Unger, Chris Hladowski, and Kalman Balogh. One recent touring iteration included Chicagoans Samuel Johnson, who played trumpet, and George Lawler on the doumbek.

Barnes and Trost are married and live Albuquerque.[5] They created the label L.M. Dupli-cation to release their own recordings as well as music by other folk-related groups. Barnes has said he intends to release contemporary music as well as earlier music that is no longer available. They have released home recordings by John Jacob Niles, an album of Turkish wedding music by Cüneyt Sepetçi and Orchestra Dolapdere, and a compilation of music from the Caucasus Mountains, called Mountains of Tongues.[3]

Barnes and Deerhoof guitarist John Dieterich released duo album called The Coral Casino, under the moniker Dieterich & Barnes in Spring of 2016.

In the Fall of 2016, Barnes released a collection of solo recordings, called Summer '16

In Neutral Milk Hotel, Barnes played a four-piece C&C drum kit (24-inch bass drum) Paiste Giant Beat and Istanbul Agop Cymbals, and a Wurlitzer MLM organ. In A Hawk and A Hacksaw, he plays vintage Da Vinci, Dallape and Weltmeister Supita Accordions and the Iranian santur.


Living Music (L.M.) Dupli-cation Releases

  • Cervantine {A Hawk and A Hacksaw} (CD/LP) - L.M. Dupli-cation - 2011
  • The Boone-Tolliver Recordings John Jacob Niles (CD/LP) - 2012
  • You Have Already Gone to the Other World [A Hawk and A Hacksaw] - 2013
  • Bahriye Ciftetellesi [Cüneyt Sepetçi and Orchestra Dolapdere] - 2013
  • Mountains of Tongues- Musical Dialects of the Caucasus - 2013
  • Bahto Delo Delo- Tsagoi - 2014
  • Dieterich & Barnes- The Coral Casino- 2016
  • Thor & Friends -s/t - 2016
  • Convertino~Amor - The Western Suite & Siesta Songs - 2016


  1. "Q&A: A Hawk And A Hacksaw | Interviews | musicOMH". musicOMH. Retrieved 17 November 2015.
  2. BRANNAVAN GNANALINGAM. "Jeremy Barnes on A Hawk and a Hacksaw". The Lumière Reader. Archived from the original on 4 February 2016. Retrieved 12 November 2012.
  3. David G (8 March 2011). "TalkNarc: Interview with A Hawk and a Hacksaw's Jeremy Barnes". NoiseNarcs. Retrieved 12 November 2012.
  4. Brown, Marisa. "Biography: A Hawk and a Hacksaw". AMG. Retrieved 18 May 2010.
  5. "Welcome home, A Hawk and a Hacksaw". Retrieved 17 November 2015.
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