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Thursday, October 2nd, 2014

Inside Eddie’s Attic: Interview with Eddie Owen

18

“Life is not measured by the number of breaths you take but by the moments that take your breath away.” – Author Unknown

Live music shows usually fall into four different categories.  Remember your grading system when you were in elementary school?

S = Satisfactory.  Most shows that you pay for, you expect to see a decent performance, down some drinks, take some pictures to post on Facebook as proof that you went, but maybe the performance itself wasn’t going to stand out as a show that rocked your face off.

N = Needs Improvement. These artists tend to appear at the little po’dunk bars showcasing the crappy open mic’s and earnestly giving their best shot.  Not ready for prime time status. Maybe with a lot of practice and good musical mentors, the artist will improve.

U = Unsatisfactory.  These are shows that you expected to be good – and they just sucked.  In my world, I’m still mad that I paid any money to see Jack Johnson and Death Cab for Cutie because they were so boring.  It’s too bad because I used to like their music.  On Wall Street they would call this a diminishing return.

Gifted group – These acts are treated differently.  Facilitators nourish their gifts and make sure their strengths are in the spotlight.  These are shows where the entire world stops and the moment is frozen in perfection.  Breathtaking!

I’ve been going to the legendary Eddie’s Attic to hear live music for the past ten years and the artists playing there fall squarely in the Gifted Group category.  I don’t remember a time where I wasn’t picking my jaw up off the floor.  Located literally upstairs in a cozy intimate attic space in the square in Decatur, Georgia, this music venue is set up as a listening room that accommodates 150+ guests.  Meaning you’re encouraged to NOT talk during the performance, you’re in a pebble’s shot’s distance to the artist, hence enhancing a unique listening experience.  The acoustics are amazing and the shows are unforgettable.

Eddie’s Attic has famously launched countless artists like the Indigo Girls, Shawn Mullins, Sugarland, John Mayer, Zac Brown band, and so many others.

Here’s a video of John Mayer’s return to the Attic in December of 2005:

Eddie Owen opened Eddie’s Attic in 1992.  In March 2002, Owen sold the business to Todd Van Sickle, (then-husband of Sugarland member Jennifer Nettles) who in turn sold the business to Bob Ephlin in June 2005, who is the current owner.  Eddie has remained the General Manager of the Attic and is solely responsible for finding and booking the artists.

Owen is known to be extremely kind and has a golden ear for marketable music talent.  Negotiations for musical appearances at the Attic are designed to be very artist-friendly.  I met with Eddie on December 1st, 2009.  He was instantly inviting, unassuming, and a storyteller, to say the least.  During the interview, you’ll hear the

(l to r): Bob Ephlin – owner, me, and Eddie Owen

distinct sound of a lighter being flicked.  Eddie loves to smoke a pipe which I have to say, kind of added to his charm.

 

The audio in this blog is edited down to a little over 5 minutes over two parts. The full interview is in podcast form under the Podcast section of this blog.  It will also be posted at www.eddiesattic.com.

Eddie’s Interview – Part 1 - Eddie’s Attic’s humble beginnings and the art of the famous Listening Room

Eddies Interview – Part 2 - Which top musicians made Eddie’s Attic famous? Advice for musicians, Eddie’s proudest moments, and the famous 5 Little Known Facts about Eddie or the Attic

The full interview is chock-full of music and venue history, insight and advice into the music industry, backgrounds on some of the famous people that have come through the Attic, his personal motivation, and the future of Eddie’s Attic. Your comments about your favorite shows from the Attic and about the interview are welcome below…

Eddie, I can’t thank you enough for your time and your kindness.  I appreciate everything you’ve done to teach me about your “gifted group” and support musicians worldwide.  – Allison

Eddie’s Attic Website | Facebook | Twitter

Photo courtesy of Alisha McKellar of Alisha McKellar Photography (www.alishamckellar.com)

About the author

Allison Hare wrote 138 articles on this blog.

A modern-day dame with a bionic ear for discovering emerging artists and a penchant for live shows. Admitted radio junkie

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Comments

18 Responses to “Inside Eddie’s Attic: Interview with Eddie Owen”
  1. Jillian says:

    Allison–this is a fantastic piece on one of the most influential men in Atlanta’s music scene! I love the report card part–nice analysis! Any true music lover knows how important Eddie’s Attic is for our city and for musicians. What a treasure to have his interview on your blog!

  2. garethasher says:

    @allisonrebecca1 Look at you go ;)

  3. garethasher says:

    @allisonrebecca1 you did good! Thank you for the mention. Who’s next on your list?

  4. radiopotato1 says:

    @garethasher Did ya see? did ya see? I even gave ga some love, too. ;-)

  5. Chris says:

    Going to Eddie’s Attic and see Greg Laswell opened my eyes to different, more intimate kinds of music. I guess there is more out there besides Death Metal!!

  6. Audrey says:

    Thank you for introducing me to Eddie’s Attic! I always leave there so invigorated! The music gives me chills when your that close to the musicians….you feel like they are singing to you….you feel the emotions of the songs deep down. This show was amazing! I’m glad you’ve got me into the Christmas show tradition!
    P.S. Keep it up!! You’re following your passion!! So proud of you!

    xoxo
    Audrey

  7. Juliana says:

    This is great! Now I want to go to Eddie’s Attic next time I’m in town.
    Great job with the editing too!

  8. Anda_Brown says:

    @allisonrebecca1 good one. ;)

  9. Sugarland says:

    Allison,

    Great podcast/article and thanks for mentioning Sugarland! This is a great music blog as well.

    Good luck with it.

    Shani Sammons
    Sugarland Marketing/Digital Media

  10. Lenore says:

    Good interview with EO, Allison. Thanks for sharing and putting it out there.
    He has done so much for the Atlanta music scene.

  11. Arlo Finch says:

    Every where I play from Texas to TN I meet other folks that have played at Eddies ,
    You might play a bigger place , but not better

    arlo

  12. What a great piece. Loved it, Allison. Eddie amd Bob are both two stand-out guys in a very tough business. There is no better friend to the struggling singer/songwriter in Georgia. I wouldn’t be still making music today if it wasn’t for EO!

  13. Allison!

    The blog on Eddie’s Attic is amazing! Even though everyone knows that if you mention John Mayer, people’s ears will perk up, you still made sure that everyone knows there is way more to the place than JUST him.

    I was introduced to Eddie’s Attic by one of my best friends, Shaun Hopper. He was going to be playing there, so I went to see his show. He tried to describe Eddie’s to me, but as you know, you just have to experience it.

    I have been to SO many shows where the people were talking louder than the music. It always made me sad for the musicians, and mad that I had actually paid to listen to the audience talk.
    Walking into Eddie’s Attic is like walking into an alternate universe where music is actually appreciated. I was so grateful to have found a place that has great food, and you can actually HEAR the music! Genius idea there.

    I have been to quite a few shows since then, and I hope to enjoy many more!

    Thanks for such a wonderful look inside the world of Eddie’s Attic…and for the tip on where to park!

    ~Alisha McKellar

  14. Sethmil says:

    @allisonrebecca1 Sorry I forgot to attribute it to you, I just realized it makes it sound like I interviewed Eddie

  15. radiopotato1 says:

    @Sethmil No worries! I just want people checking out the interview – through whatever means. :-) Thanks again! I appreciate it-

  16. water pump says:

    Hi, interesting post, i like your posts but i can not produce quality posts like yours, i am very thankful to know wonderful information

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