As my editor pointed out, we’ve had a lot of column deaths recently. Between the Club of 27, the murder of Young Dolph, and the memory of John Lennon’s assassination, I think it’s time to get away from it all.
For this issue, I would like to introduce a local artist by the name of Derrick Dove.
Dove is originally from Tifton and currently lives in Norman Park with his family. His wife, Kimberly, originally from Norman Park, works as a computer lab teacher at Norman Park Elementary with their two children, Ollie and Otis.
I was able to interview Dove over the phone. He is currently quite busy with family life and plays in four groups. One of them includes his exciting project, Derrick Dove & The Peacekeepers. Obviously there were some scheduling conflicts at the start. I had to reprogram at first, then he had to do it. We then had to schedule a morning interview over the phone. But it was pretty late in the morning because Dove informed me “he had a party he needed to go to and wouldn’t be available until 11:00”.
“What kind of party do you go to at 9 am on a Friday morning?” I asked him during our interview.
âMy daughter threw a party at school. These are about the only parties I’m invited to these days, âDove chuckled.
Dove spends his days like what I would say like a stay-at-home dad. But staying home is certainly not the best way to describe it. Dove occurs about “three to four times a week”. Along with this, Derrick Dove & The Peacekeepers are currently working on their second full length album, which is due out next year.
A native of Tifton, Dove grew up with his father a musician, radio DJ, club owner, gold and silver jewelry owner, and musician Don “Dangerous Don” Dove.
âI was brought up around music. Growing up, our living room was his training room. There were always records, guitars, drums or something musical around, âhe said fondly.
Dove started playing the drums at the age of 10, he said. At 12, he switched to the guitar. He formed his first band at the age of 15 called Steel Roots. While Steel Roots didn’t last long, it certainly made an impression on the faithful where they often played.
âI remember we were playing in the wake-up call on Wednesday night and we were almost kicked out,â he said. “We started playing ‘House of the Rising Sun’ and for some reason the congregation didn’t like it.”
By age 16, Dove had formed another band, DC Blues. Their first gig earned them a big check for $ 1,200.
âOur very first gig, we won the Fire Ant Festival in Ashburn. We only knew two songs because they told us that was all we would be allowed to play. Just before continuing, another group gave up. So we had to play three songs. We were backstage learning a third song a few minutes before going on stage for the first time. â¦ Between three 16-year-olds, that money lasted about a week, âDove said.
Dove grew up in rock, blues and pop that have defined many generations. At 38, Dove’s musical influences include groups like Bob Seger and The Silver Bullet Band, Stevie Ray Vaughn, The Eagles and The Beatles.
“I was the kid in sixth grade who listened to Little Richard’s records, had a mule, and wore a Jimi Hendrix t-shirt to school.”
He would then leave Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College to play guitar in a group known as the Michael Stacey Band. He continued to tour with them until 2007.
âI fell into the role a bit, but it was great. I enjoyed it. I was, well, we were all young and we were having fun and playing music. That was what it was about. That’s all he ever was, âDove said.
In 2009, he married his wife, Kimberly, and moved to Nashville. But Dove was not impressed with the City of Music industry.
âIt’s about who you know, not what you know,â Dove said with a hint of disappointment.
In 2010 the family returned to Georgia and Dove opened a gold and silver business in Thomasville. His family had three when he was growing up, so he was quite familiar with the operation. During this time, he formed his group, Big Brother’s Boombox. What Dove describes as his “party band.”
âWe do weddings, corporate events and things like that,â he said.
Boombox has continued to operate since 2010. In 2014, Dove made the decision to devote himself to music full time.
âI closed the store about a week after my daughter was born. It was a bit nerve-racking but I knew, I had always known, that this was what I wanted. I was lucky to have a family that supported me.
With Boombox and The Peacekeepers, Dove rarely performs with a Lynyrd Skynyrd cover band, Swamp Music, and performs about “once or twice a month” as bassist for the Kinchafoonee Cowboys.
In 2018, Derrick Dove and The Peacekeepers released their self-titled debut album. They had some success early on as they reached No.5 on the Itunes Blues charts and had opening gigs for bands such as Striper, Drivin and Cryin and Blackberry Smoke. The Peacekeepers are made up of four members: Dove himself on lead guitar and vocals, Don Hill III on bass, Jamie Richardson on drums and Johnathan Thomas on keyboard.
2018 seemed like a good start for The Peacekeepers until tragedy hit Dove and Hill. Dove’s father is deceased along with Hill’s wife.
âWe just took a break after that,â Dove said. âIt’s not something you can just bounce off of. Then everything else happened and we just got this second album together.
The new album will be dedicated to Dangerous Don. All the songs were written after he passed away and Dove said, âThere are just things that you go through that just can’t be said. If they can’t be said, it’s a little easier to put them to music.
Dove said he was happy with his situation, his life, his career and his musical opportunities.
âEveryone has their own version of success. I stay at home with the kids and play music all night long. It is success. For a while I wasn’t sure if I could do music full time. But here I am. Play and sing. I call it a success. I’m not trying to be rich, although I wouldn’t mind, âDove said with a laugh.
âI try to make a living playing music that I have written. Copying someone else’s work is fun. We’re a good band, but playing this original stuff is art. I would like to write a song that touches them. I remember those songs. This kind of song is what marked me. I just want people to appreciate my art, âDove said.
Nine songs are slated to appear on The Peacekeepers’ new record next year. A release date is to be announced later, Dove said. I’m sure I’ll be looking to attend this album launch party.
If you want to learn more about Dove, including his other projects, you can find him at derrickdove.com, bigbrothersboombox.com, or by searching for Derrick Dove on Facebook.
Jack R. Jordan is a reporter for the Moultrie Observer.