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August 2019 - Tripp 'N' Dixie

Hard Working Michigan Band on a Great 'Tripp'

Story by LCC Radio Reporter Philippe Goudiaby

Tripp 'N' Dixie in concertTripp ‘N’ Dixie is one of those groups that came together at time when seeing your friends was an everyday occurrence; during high school. Since then, they have been touring the Great Lakes State region and building a number of (sometimes tall) tales of life on the road. One such tale is the story behind the group’s moniker. Legend has it that one day, a former band member’s van broke down in the middle of nowhere. Distraught and bewildered, the deserted musician began to set out on foot. Fortunately, his journey was cut short when he was rescued by an elderly couple who gave him a ride to his destination. When he got out of the car and thanked them, the elderly man introduced himself, “I’m Tripp and this is my wife, Dixie.” Tall tales aside, the true story is much simpler. As it turns out, the band played a show at a venue in Holly, Michigan that happened to be located on the corner of Tripp Road and Dixie Highway. They named themselves Tripp ‘N’ Dixie for the night and it stuck.

The band has had a rotating line up throughout the years, but the current cast features Rozz Rosales (vocals), Conner Williams (keyboard), Miguel Gutierizz (drums), with Adam Cross, Mike Gonchoroff, and Sandy Baller rounding out the band on guitars. Out of Pontiac, Michigan, most of the six-piece rock band came together during the band’s high school days with the exception of keyboardist, Conner Williams.

“When I first met Conner, he was working as a bouncer and he didn’t think I looked old enough so he Tripp 'N' Dixie in concertcarded me to get in the venue,” recalled Rosales, “Later on, I went to the bar to get a drink and he pulled me aside and carded me again.”

With a name that pays homage to the Michigan’s infrastructure and a sound that stems from its culture, Tripp ‘N’ Dixie make no attempt to hide their ‘mitten’ roots. In fact, they have much love and respect for the regional music community.

“The music that comes out of this state is unbelievable,” said Williams, “And the history, you could go on for hours so we’re definitely proud to be a part of that!”

Although Tripp ‘N’ Dixie plays occasionally outside of the state, the majority of their shows in the greater Detroit area. Top of list though? They identified the Machine shop in Flint. Rozz brought up a specific moment when the band was playing at the venue and the crowd sang along to the lyrics of their song “Forgotten”.

“Seeing the crowd react to their music like that was incredible,” said Rosales.

Above all else though, Rosales said (half-joking) what he really likes to see in the crowd is “people”. Luckily for Trip ‘N’ Dixie, after 12 years of playing together, releasing new music, and finding themselves in the final stages of competition amongst some of the motor city’s best, the band has been able to steadily grow their fanbase.

Growth is a common theme for the group. Along with their musical prowess, the members of Tripp ‘N’ Dixie have seen their families grow as well. Rosales and Cross both have children on the way and Gonchoroff is currently on hiatus raising a newborn. Still the show must go on, so the band has found a way to persevere through what Rosales calls “real life nipping at our heels”.
Tripp 'N' Dixie drumset
Tripp ‘N’ Dixie fans can be expecting something new to come out very soon. The group began recording a five song EP in May of 2018 and recently finished recording. The new EP will be a fresh take for long-time listeners. Rosales credits time, experience, and their engineer, Steve Lehane, for the more polished sound of their next project.

“It’s completely different,” said Rosales, “The music sonically is better than anything we’ve ever released before; and the songs are tighter.”

Audiences have a lot to look forward to from Tripp ‘N’ Dixie, as they currently are in late stages of Kid Rock’s “Take the Stage” competition, a ‘battle of the bands event where groups from the area compete to become the house band at Kid Rock’s Made in Detroit restaurant located inside of the new Little Caesars Arena. Whether they are victorious or not, we aren’t whistlin’ “Dixie” when we tell you this band is on a serious “Tripp” to the top!

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