In the spring of 2009, ATL Collective Co-Founder David Berkeley was approached by the owner of a coffee bar in the Old Fourth Ward of Atlanta to bring music into its loft-like upstairs space. 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 possibility.
For the Love of Vinyl
David and Micah 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. So on the back of napkins, they began dreaming up a bold new concept. The vision they conceived was to tap into the wealth of Atlanta musical talent to collectively cover classic albums. Discover your next favorite artist while singing along to your old favorite songs. So it began.
Growing the Dream
In its early days, Dalton and Berkeley created pop-up shows monthly upstairs at the original 4th Ward shop. 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 (red velvet cake when covering the Velvet Underground). They brought in lights and sound. They made the shows happen.
A Team is Formed
The idea caught on fast. Shows were packed, and the spirit was strong. It became quickly clear that a team was required. The Collective would never have taken root without the tireless effort and foundational insights of Andy Lee, Tyler Lyle, Jordan-Ann Schorch, and Alexandra Steiber. The whole project transformed, however, when 3 Owl Media jumped on board to develop the visual side of the organization, and Rhi Clark signed on to handle the day- to-day business operations. Eventually, Matt Lipkins of the Shadowboxers joined the team as Musical Director.
The vision continued to gain clarity and popularity. Our tean has expanded, and we’ve filled larger and larger venues as we’ve gone. Aaron Scorch took the reins as day-to-day operator, Robby Handley took over as Musical Director, and AJ Holder jumped aboard to create immersive visuals.
With this bigger and stronger team, the Collective has grown into a multi- dimensional entertainment company, curating one-of-a-kind shows at a wide variety of venues and spotlighting a diverse array of incredible local and national musicians. We have co-presented shows with Delta, ChooseAtl, and the Atlanta History Center. We have excited and committed sponsors. Our shows now boast a house band and dynamic visuals. But the energy and vision have remained intact. Atl Collective continues to be a celebration of music in its purest form. By recreating and celebrating the greats of the past, ATL Collective discovers and fosters the greats of tomorrow.
Micah Dalton is the Collective's Co-Founder and Creative Director. Born and raised in Atlanta, Dalton is half of the band, Dwayne Shivers. His favorite show thus far has been Marvin Gaye's What's Goin' On. Micah enjoys a good pair of sneakers, early 20th century Catholic fiction writing (who doesn't?), Sinbad stand up, and passive sports watching. He recommends JR Crickets (where chicken is chicken, but the wing is the thing) for anyone looking to fall in love with Atlanta in the realest of ways.
Singer-songwriter-author David Berkeley now lives in the wilds of New Mexico. But he used to call Candler Park home. And while his wife was pregnant with their second son, Berkeley and Dalton were dreaming up this here Collective. In the early days, he did whatever was required to pull the shows off, from emceeing to performing to cooking flavorless refried beans (i.e. prison food) for the Folsom Prison show. David is the Collective's wordsmith and copywriter. His favorite show was Graceland.
Rhiannon Klee joined the Collective family as the Operations & Booking Director in September 2012. She cut her teeth in the ATL music scene as the Talent Buyer & Marketing Director at the legendary Eddie’s Attic in downtown Decatur. In addition to devising hare-brained schemes for the Collective, Rhiannon is the Talent Buyer at Venkman's in the Old Fourth Ward and runs her own consulting and production firm centered around curating live music events. Her very favorite Collective shows are Talking Heads’ Speaking in Tongues (at The Goat Farm w/Reptar!), and TLC’s CrazySexyCool (at Terminal West).
Native Atlantan and founding director of AJMF (Atlanta Jewish Music Festival), Russell Gottschalk is the newest staff member of ATL Collective. He joined the team summer 2018 to take over day-to-day operations and facilitate our transition to 501(c)3 non-profit status. When he’s not working in Atlanta’s dynamic, diverse and influential music scene, he enjoys playing disc sports (both ultimate and disc golf), experimenting with new InstantPot recipes, and cycling in/around his Reynoldstown community where he lives with his wife, Mimi, and their big, beautiful dog, Cannonball.
Robby Handley, of the band Sleepy Guest, is our musical director. Let’s take it back to the fall of 2010. Robby was loitering outside of Twain’s in Decatur when he ran into co-founder Micah Dalton. 'Micah,' Robby said, 'how about you let me play your Abbey Road show?' Micah knew of Robby's chops and didn't blink before saying yes. That was the hook, and Robby hasn't looked back, tallying up at least 30 shows over the next several years. He's played a lot of gems, but he says one of my most eye-opening collective shows had to be Springsteen’s Nebraska.
AJ Holder is ATL Collective's multimedia guru. He grew up in Georgia and landed in Atlanta when he fell in love with the music and film scene. He curates custom video art inspired by the selected albums and manipulates those images live as part of the overall performance. His favorite show was A Tribe Called Quest's Low End Theory. AJ enjoys eating brunch around Atlanta's neighborhood breakfast joints, listening to Vaporwave, and frequenting the Plaza Theatre.
3 Owl is a local team of design and marketing experts. They produce posters, shirts, websites, and pretty much anything sporting the Collective’s name. As lovers of music and Atlanta, 3 Owl is proud to be ATL Collective’s exclusive branding & web agency.