Decatur’s hidden music gem


Mary Shewan

Decatur’s hidden music gem

Mary Shewan

There’s a tiny alley in the Square. It holds a staircase and a door. Passing by, someone may not even glance at it. They might not even recognize that the door leads to a room that has been changing the Atlanta music scene for the past 20 years.

Most known for jump-starting careers such as Emily Kinney and John Mayer, Eddie’s Attic has become a safe haven for performers.

This is partially due to the fact that the location has stayed in the same tucked away spot their entire career .The venue has also been passed down through people that understand what kind of a venue Eddie’s prides itself on being. It’s unlike any other venue in Atlanta. In most venues, there’s laughing, shouting and talking. If you go to show at Eddie’s, it’s quiet. The energy level is the same, but it’s all going toward the person performing on stage. There’s no small talk to pass the time; every artist is given an equal amount of time and respect.

 This “listening room aspect” is something Eddie’s is known for putting out there. Becky Shaw, an artist who’s been performing with Eddie’s since 1993 (the venue opened in 1991) and Andi Kezh, a sophomore at Decatur High School, appreciate the infamous “shh signs” plastered in Eddie’s Attic.

“They’ve always made such a big deal and emphasized so much on the fact that it is a listening room,” Shaw said. “‘Cause you know, live music is a two-way street between the artist and the audience.”

Kezh agrees.

“I like Eddie’s because everyone listens to your music since it’s such a small, intimate space,” Kezh said. “You can really connect with the person on stage.”

Sophomore Robin Tucker feels a little less love for the “listening” aspect.

“It’s a little strange, not having the audience react the way you’re used to,” he said. “However, it’s nice not to feel like you are putting on this show, and you can just play your music.”

Tucker has been playing music since “before he can remember” and he got the Eddie’s gig about two years ago. He’s glad that the music profession is open to younger people.

“I remember when I was in second or third grade, I used to get picked on for singing,” Tucker said. “Now there’s a burst of male singers.The youth of today are singers.”

William Bartlett, a student at Fifth Avenue Academy and a youth of today,  recently performed at Eddie’s.

“I was nervous, but the audience and the venue was great,” Bartlett said. “I was really glad to be able to perform there.”

Performing there is a first-time experience for many people. Bartlett, Kezh and Tucker all had one of their first official performances at the Attic.

Tucker and Kezh still play there often, both recently competing in an Open Mic contest.  

“[The Open Mic contest] was really awesome,” Kezh said. “There’s a lot of really talented people that play there. I felt a little young and immature”.

Eddie’s has left a positive impact on the artists that play there.

“I owe a lot to Eddie’s,” Tucker said. “They have definitely cultured me. I cannot stress how wonderful and rare it is to have a place like this, places that singers and songwriters can go to get a good experience.”

The attic has left a different kind of mark on Shaw, but an equally positive one.

“I have a level of  comfort just by being around for so long,” Shaw said. ‘I’ve played a lot of clubs where you aren’t sure if you are being treated fairly. Eddie’s Attic established from the beginning that artists needed to be respected.”

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Photos of Becky Shaw provided by Mike Morrell