There are always several cringe-inducing moments at an open mic, and I
would have traded my beer for a gong during a few of last night's acts.
When I used to judge these things, my fellow critics and I would pass
notes back and forth and giggle like schoolgirls at lines like, "I
could see the light and stuff in your eyes." But more of the
contestents have at least the minimum level of skill to entertain, and
a few of them are downright talented.
I stayed to hear the three finalists, Scott McMahon from Knoxville (pictured above),
Andy Elwell from Minneapolis and local chanteuse Kate Wright. All were good,
particularly McMahon who won the event. He'll move on to the
semi-annual Open Mic Shootout, where each week's winner performs in a
round-robin style tournament. Past Eddie's Open Mic Shootout winners
include John Mayer & Clay Cook, Jennifer Nettles of Sugarland and
Jennifer Daniels. Their names are on a plaque at Eddie's right near
platinum records by Mayer and Sugarland. Each week a couple dozen
songwriters climb the stairs of Eddie's with a dream to get on that
plaque and a hope to become the next success story to come out of the
fabled club. The amazing thing is, some of them will.