Carrollton, GA- Recently, the David Pippin Group won a national competition and will now head to Memphis to compete for a national title.
The International Blues Challenge is a competition where thousands of blues musicians gather to compete for an international title. Musicians can choose to do solo performances or groups. There are also events within the challenge’s duration, such as seminars, screenings, and autographing. Pippin wanted to be able to let his band experience the Blues Challenge, meaning they would need to win in Atlanta. According to Pippin, who previously competed twice in a duo group, you may only win the title in one category twice.
“I was only allowed to win it once more,” said Pippin. “So we thought, let’s do it with the band”
According to Pippin, there is a challenge every day, “You are guaranteed the first two days to play.”
Depending on the results of the international contest, the group could be flung into a long blues tour, a blues cruise, and even end up in magazines and radio shows. While they spend their time in Memphis, the group will promote their music, much like every other band. Otherwise, they will return to Carrollton, with Pippin running his music school and the rest of the band set to help teach. “Even just being there, it opens up a lot of doors,” said Johnathan Dorsey. “The years that we had won after we had done that, we had tons of gigs.”
The music community in Carrollton is one of the biggest out there, and David Pippin and his group have created a space for young and old musicians alike to learn more about music.
When asked about previous experiences in competitions, the group turned to Pippin, and he explained how exciting and diverse the environment is at the international competition that they are set to play.
“The bass player was playing all the blues licks, so like all of the stuff that a guitar player would play, a saxophone player or a piano would play, the bass player was playing it,” Pippin told two stories regarding two music groups who didn’t speak English and how that signifies how important music is, not only culturally, but also as a way to connect with other people.
The group each had their own version of the events of their national win, which caused a room filled with laughter; the first version involved Adam Goodale spacing out and finding himself and the group on stage, calling it surreal. Pippin responded simply, “We did what we came to do,” in response to the story and the referencing of winning because they made it that far.
Alex Burley discussed in detail what winning the following competition would mean, “That’s something positive that we can root for Atlanta, you know, root for our guys.”
The members of the band all agreed with excitement. The group then backtracked to their practice on the path to compete nationally, coming up with many original songs, mentioning their Wednesday sessions of music. Their music sessions led to an album release, which the group seemed very proud of.
David Pippin explained the origin of the group’s name and how long they have been playing together. Adam Goodale, singer and songwriter, mentions how healthy being a part of the band has been. Johnathan Dorsey, the bassist, notes about a 10-11-year play time with Pippin and a 6-year play in the band and is very passionate about music and community. Keyboardist Alex Burley mentions his near-death experience and how losing his hearing led him to stumble on Pippin’s music. Their relationship began from there, mentioning how much blues he had to learn in a short period of time. Burley mentioned that Pippin’s leadership and talent for Blue’s helped him stay in music. Kelley Warner, the drummer of the group, was not present for the interview; however, the group notes him as multi-talented and an essential part of the music they make.
Each member had different reasons for joining the band, but Pippin gave them a community of music. They all admire him as a leader and feel proud to be able to play music with him. The members all have different personalities, and that is represented in their music. The pride that the group has in the Blues genre is palpable. Their effect as winners of an impressive national title demonstrates Carrollton’s local musicians’ talent.