Born April 14th, 1967 in Olympia, Washington, Barrett began his musical studies at Western Washington University studying jazz theory and classical percussion in the mid 1980's, until moving to Seattle in 1987. Barrett's first group in Seattle, Skin Yard, was a heavy art rock combo that featured Sub Pop Records producer Jack Endino on guitar. The band recorded for SST Records & Cruz Records, the independent label that launched the careers of many well-known alternative bands in the 80’s and 90’s.
In late 1991, Barrett joined the Screaming Trees, a seminal band in the emerging Seattle sound. The Trees made three critically acclaimed albums during that decade, maintaining a relentless touring schedule that took them all over the western world. Ultimately, this grueling routine would lead to the break up of the band in 1999, at which point the band members decided to pursue different careers.
During this time, Barrett continued to work as a session musician. playing on or producing over 50 albums including recordings with artists such as: R.E.M. side project Minus 5, the French band Air, blues legend Cedell Davis & Queens Of The Stone Age.
In 2001 Barrett founded the non-profit record label, Fast Horse Recordings, and has released ten albums to date, including albums by Brazilian, Peruvian, Iraqi and Nigerian artists, as well as his own projects and solo albums.