Eddie’s Attic: Honoring Musicians and Uplifting Talent

Eddie’s Attic is a Decatur treasure where acts such as John Mayer and Sugarland have graced the stage. Photo by Jade Johnson | The Signal
Eddie’s Attic is a Decatur treasure where acts such as John Mayer and Sugarland have graced the stage. Photo by Jade Johnson | The Signal

In the heart of Downtown Decatur, Eddie’s Attic remains a place where local and national have performed. John Mayer, The Indigo Girls, The Civil Wars and Sugarland have all stood on the stage of Eddie’s Attic before their careers took flight.

Dave Mattingly, the co-owner along with Alex Coley, have run the place for five years and are dedicated to being the spotlight artist need.

“We wanted to be a place where young aspiring artists can start, come in and we can help them establish their career,” Mattingly said. “We’d love nothing more than to take an artist from our open mics all the way to the Grammys.”

Eddie’s Attic is a small venue and restaurant with a full bar, with only about a 160 seats for the room.

“It’s an intimate place. You get big names that come in the place and it’s a very up close experience,” Mattingly said. “It’s a very respectful room. If someone really wants to come and listen to their favorite artists, they can come and do it and not be surrounded by a bunch of people talking and other distractions.”

They host shows everywhere. When the crowd demands a larger capacity, Eddie’s Attic utilizes larger venues. They have presented productions at places such as Terminal West and Variety Playhouse. Two shows are also coming up at the Tabernacle.

“We’re a small venue and we don’t have room for everyone for some shows,” Mattingly said.

The sounds from the stage are open to many acts, but the atmosphere is usually dominated by singer-songwriters and the occasional gospel act.

“We have [had] classical [and] some symphony people perform,” Mattingly said. “We’ve had gospel. We’ve even started a gospel brunch, about every two months.”

Each artist that is booked for a show is given a CD of their performance, by example when The Civil Wars released their debut album, “Live at Eddie’s Attic,” for free on their site. The album soon went viral.

“It’s a legendary music venue,” Mattingly said. “So many stars and artists that have launched off of their stage.”

Charity and giving something back to Downtown Decatur and the greater Atlanta area is a raison d’etre of Eddie’s Attic.

“We do a lot of charity. We believe very strongly in charity shows where it helps out various charity groups. Amplify is one of them,” Mattingly said. “We want to be part of the community and in order to do that we have to give back.”

Sometimes, band members will come through the establishment and be a part of the charity show Eddie’s Attic will put on.

A place to showcase live music in its glory is one of the main passions and goals for the team at Eddie’s Attic. Above all else, their dedication lies with how the music and the musicians are treated.

“We have the best sound system in the Southeast,” Mattingly said. “We’re very proud of our sound system, we got it from Germany. Can’t buy a better one. For singer-songwriters, you need to be able to hear the words. You’ll notice that everything is crystal clear as it comes out of our speakers.”

Southern hospitality grounds their goals not only with the music, but also with the patrons and the community.

“In this business, you have to be respectful of the artists and you have to be respectful of the customers,” Mattingly said. “The way we show respect, we try to treat them as comfortable as they can when they’re enjoying the music.”

In the cozy and intimate den, you don’t feel like you’re in a massive crowd even when you might be seated next to some massive names.

Ed Roland, from Collective Soul, has come through for a few nights. Kristian Bush, from Sugarland, with a group has come along to hang within the dwelling.

“You never know who’s gonna get on the stage. Other artists will come in and show up,” Mattingly said. “It’s a hangout for a lot of musicians, where they’ll stop by to see one another. We’re kind of like ‘Cheers’ with music,”

When Dave Mattingly and Alex Coley bought Eddie’s Attic, it had 30 days before it was due to be closed down. Immediately, they worked to bring it back. Next year, Eddie’s Attic will have in establishment for 25 years.


Photo by Jade Johnson | The Signal
Photo by Jade Johnson | The Signal

Get on the Stage

Students at Georgia State and aspiring artists have the capability to be something more than a guest in the join.

Open mic nights are held every Monday night as a forum and listening board for performing songwriters. On the stage, each artist has 10 minutes to amplify their ability. After each act has performed two original works of music, a panel of judges chooses three finalists. The finalists are invited back for one more performance and from there, the judges name a favorite. The art is judged by five qualifiers: songwriting, vocal performance, playing ability, stage presence and audience response.

Monday night winners receive a $100 prize and a place within the Bi-Annual Open Mic Shootout. Bi-annually, there are Open Mic competitions, where a winner is announced, making two winners a year survivable through Eddie’s Attic. The winner receives $1,000.

“It’s not karaoke night with us,” Mattingly said. “We have launched so many acts off of our stage that in the music industry, people know what it’s a special stage.”

The scheduled are booked for lengthy periods of time, usually five months in advance.

For artists looking to get booked as an act, they must contact the talent buyer, Andrew Hingley. It strictly has to be original work, no cover bands or music.

“We have people come into open mic night from London, Australia, Ireland,” Mattingly said. “People come in from all over the world and hope to get discovered.”


Contact Eddie’s Attic

To apply for Open Mic, contact number 404-377-4976 or visit us Eddie’s Attic in person.

The talent buyer, Andrew Hingley, can be reached at 404-435-8476.

More information can be garnered at eddiesattic.com