On a Monday night in late January, I spent the evening at Atlanta’s Eddie’s Attic, a songwriting venue that has catered exclusively to songwriters for the past twenty years. Each week the Attic hosts an open mic competition that has been responsible for discovering popular artists such as John Mayer, Jennifer Nettles (of Sugarland) and Shawn Mullins. What I went to find out was how Eddie’s Attic has been able to discover such great talent while they were still amateurs. What is it about their open mic night that cultivates future Grammy winners while avoiding many of the cliché open mic stereotypes (such as agonizingly bad performers and even poorer crowds). Most open mics host disinterested, talkative audiences that usually ignore the performers while ordering more margaritas or loudly entertaining themselves. This is what you could describe as “polite,” compared to rougher crowds that yell out mocking requests of “Freebird” in between songs or just go to the always hilarious, “You suck!” while the sound system is howling feedback. This is the common environment of most open mics across the country but this is not Eddie’s Attic’s Open Mic. Instead the Atlanta venue hangs a banner from their stage that proudly explains the indoor bar is the listening room, a place for artists and audiences to enjoy a live music experience together, and the outdoor bar welcomes patrons being rowdy. “I think there are a number of reasons why Eddie’s Attic is a great venue for songwriters,” Matt Arnett, host of the Open Mic at Eddie’s Attic, explains, “but the most important is that the audience comes to hear the music and the songs. “The intimacy of the room... Sign In to Keep Reading
Gain Access to the American Songwriter Vault of Resources with a Free Membership
Sign up to gain access to exclusive aticles, members-only contests, archived interviews, and more.
Already a member? Sign in here.