Since they grew up under the same roof in Fort Collins, Colorado, this isn’t the first time that Dan and Jack have made music together. After all, when you share piano teachers, choir directors, stereos . . . bunk beds . . . it’s hard not to come out the other end with a matching set of tastes and skillsets. The Barton brothers have drawn parallel paths from the beginning, and collaboration almost seemed inevitable. Their first project bordered on coercive, when Dan surprised Jack with a bass guitar for Christmas (an instrument he didn’t play at the time), and a show just a week away (also a surprise). The band that grew from there, a piano-rock trio Copper String Theory, released a record and played across Northern Colorado from 2009-2011.
In 2012, Dan moved to New York with a composition degree, to make good on his starving artist destiny, collecting a portfolio of scores for short film, sketch comedy, and advertising. Meanwhile, Jack snoozed through a math degree while beginning a 1,567,234-show run of music theater productions at the Candlelight and Boulder Dinner theaters.
A pretty girl, New York burnout, and an open room led Dan to Boston in the fall of 2016, by which time the boys were both itching for a new scene and a new creative outlet. Thus began their long distance band-lationship. They began co-writing in 2016 and started to build a catalog of diverse, frustratingly catchy songs. The first 3 were recorded and released with 1,900 miles between them — an impressive feat, but not a viable long-term solution. So Jack also set out for New England in the fall of 2017 to pursue the project more seriously, piece together a live show, and accelerate the writing and recording process.
Over the years, their circle has grown to include professional opera singers, producers, multi-instrumentalists, and theatrical triple threats. Inspired by the collaborative spirit of hip hop and EDM, along with their tendency to write music that extends beyond their personal strengths, Barton & Barton try to utilize the talents in their circle to fill the needs of the project at hand. The songwriting duo has morphed into an indie-pop collective, and eventually they hope to gather everyone they know into this thriving creative community.
Working with such a variety of supremely talented people has allowed Jack and Dan to expand beyond the musical foundation laid by their parents. The house they grew up in revolved around the piano-rock greats: Billy Joel, Elton John, Jamie Cullum and Ben Folds; and those roots hold strong, though they’ve taken a millennial twist. It’s like Sara Bareilles and Harry Styles’ brainchild went and got a music degree.
The Barton brothers are products of public school music programs, and an educational and parenting philosophy that values art and music as the other half of the STEM equation. This long-instilled passion has driven one of their main goals for the endeavor: to promote and support arts education. With that in mind, Jack and Dan have devoted a portion of the proceeds from each release to various musical and educational non-profits. They hope to expand on this to actively involve themselves in the conversation surrounding arts education, and help foster the same communities that have helped Barton & Barton thrive so far.