Eddie’s Attic is hosting a writers night called Songwriters in the Row on Aug. 3.
The event is the brainchild of Cliff Corr, who hosted writers’ nights at Douglas Corner Cafe when he lived in Nashville, Tenn.
“When I moved to Atlanta, that’s when I knew I wanted to do something similar,” Corr said.
Corr began hosting similar writers nights at Eddie’s Attic in 2019 as a way to showcase the talent of his friends from Nashville and Atlanta and as a way to invest in Atlanta’s music community. Over the past couple of years, the writers nights have evolved into Songwriters in the Row.
Corr hosted the first of what would officially become known as Songwriters in the Row in March of this year with four artists, himself included. When that night performed well, he got the idea to make the event a sort of series.
“That’s when I started talking to Eddie’s Attic,” Corr said. “I want to make this more of a set, recurring thing.”
The Songwriters in the Row event on Aug. 3 will include the talents of Lewis Beard, Sara Jean Kelley, Mickey Commodore, and Jon Smith. All of these writers have been writing since they were at least teenagers, and have their own sense of style and story.
Jon Smith, who grew up in Rome, Ga., comes from a musical family. Growing up, his father was a music minister at a church. He started playing guitar and piano and figuring out his way around other instruments when he was around 10 years old. After a long break from writing or playing songs, he picked it back up again during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I grew up around gospel music and bluegrass – a lot of guys who couldn’t read music, but could play just about anything,” Smith said. “I fell in love with music at a young age.”
Lewis Beard, who grew up in Atlanta, takes a lot of his influences from the music he loved in the 1990s and 2000s, whether that be John Mayer or Third Eye Blind. He met Corr when they both worked at Mailchimp, but didn’t really get to know each other until they both quit. Beard said while he’s done a lot of solo shows, he’s excited to participate in the writers night style of performance for the first time.
“I love the idea of it, from both the performing perspective and for the audience,” Beard said. “It seems like it gives you more variety, and interesting stories from people, and probably more diversity of music.”
For Sara Jean Kelley, songwriting has been in the blood for as long as she can remember. Her mother is a songwriter who moved to Nashvillle in the 1980s. Kelley is still based in Nashville, and her influences range from Bob Dylan to Mariah Carey.
“I love really good melody and I love really good writing,” she said. “That’s what I gravitate toward. In my own writing, I don’t know. I feel like I just sit down, and whatever comes out, comes out.”
Jason Martin – better known as Mickey Commodore – grew up just outside of Baton Rouge, La. He learned how to play guitar from his dad when he was about 13 years old. He’s been living in Nashville since about 2011. He said Corr was responsible for helping him land his first gig playing at a restaurant in Nashville.
“He told me he was doing this thing at Eddie’ Attic, which I’d played there a few times,” he said. “I love that place. I love Atlanta as well, so any excuse to come to Atlanta is a good one for me.”
Corr said he already has another group of songwriters lined up for the next event. There’s no set date, but he hopes the writers night will take place in November or December. Tickets for the Aug. 3 Songwriters in the Row event can be purchased online.