In the spring of 2009, Atl Collective Co-Founder David Berkeley was approached by the owner of Danneman’s (a coffee bar in the Old Fourth Ward of Atlanta) to bring music into its loft-like upstairs space. His thought was that maybe there could be an open mic or some sort of monthly showcase that would bring more heads into his shop. Berkeley immediately sought to partner up with friend and fellow musician Micah Dalton, and the two began brainstorming on how to make the most of the offer.The humble beginnings of the Collective would have never taken root without the tireless effort and foundational insights of Andy Lee, Tyler Lyle, Jordan-Ann Schorch, and Alexandra Steiber.
For the Love of
Neither David nor Micah had any interest in hosting an open mic. Both wanted to create an event that was unique and had the potential to transform the Atlanta music scene. They wanted to create something that was supportive, collaborative and non-competitive. As songwriters who valued full-length albums, they also were growing increasingly frustrated with the move toward digital music and singles. They wanted to be consumed by music the way listening to a record on vinyl consumes the listener. Covering classic albums seemed to be the perfect solution.
In its early days, Dalton and Berkeley created pop up shows monthly at Danneman’s. Everything was very DIY. They hand-picked the albums and the acts to cover the songs. They secured food donations from local vendors that tied into the albums. They brought in lights and sound. And they made the shows happen. Soon David Feldman jumped on board to develop the visual side of the organization. Rhi Clark signed on to handle the day to day business operations. And Matt Lipkins joined the team as musical director.
Thus the Collective has grown into a far more professional operation, with a house band, a media team, sponsors and a board. But the energy and vision has remained intact. The Collective continues to be a celebration of music in its purest form. By re-creating past greats, the Collective discovers and fosters future greats.