Gransden said he had the choice of seven or eight different area venues for the new home of the six-year-old session after the management at Twain’s Billiards & Tap in Decatur decided to end the weekly gig in order to install more tables in the dining area.
The trumpeter announced the move Tuesday night at the final Twain’s event to a packed crowd of around 250 people.
While the initial jam session will be on a trial basis, both Gransden and the venue’s management can foresee the event becoming a longtime presence at Eddie’s, one of the region’s premier live music rooms. The trumpeter added, though, that unlike his deal with Twain’s, they’re going to keep it “a little bit vague at the beginning” to make sure it’s a good fit for everyone.
Moving the event to Eddie’s will allow musicians to play in a more professional concert setting instead of relegating them to a small stage at one corner of a restaurant. Gransden — who will perform with his regular band of bassist Craig Shaw, drummer Chris Burroughs and either Kevin Bales or Kenny Banks Sr. on piano — also said musicians will be allowed to use Eddie’s new baby grand piano. Eddie’s will provide a professional soundman during each session to work the venue’s new sound system.
While these new benefits will enhance the overall experience, Gransden said the biggest change is the fact that musicians of all ages will be allowed into the new venue. At Twain’s, only musicians 21 and over were allowed in. “One of the problems with Twain’s is that there were a lot of young students that were really good players that couldn’t come because they weren’t 21,” he said.
In fact, Gransden initially wanted to create the jam session at Twain’s to provide a space where younger performers could hone their craft.
“When I found out after I’d been there for a while that [musicians under 21] were not allowed and there was no way around that, it was a little bit depressing,” he said. “I know that feeling when you’re 20, or you’re 19, and you want play. Or maybe your teacher or one of your favorite players is on stage playing, and you’re just not allowed in the club.”
More seasoned performers might also see the Eddie’s session as a networking opportunity, he said, because performers will have the ear of the venue’s management and staff. This setup could potentially lead to a gig for some of the more enterprising artists, said the trumpeter, who plays Eddie’s Attic twice a year with his big band.
“I think Eddie’s is probably the perfect venue,” Gransden said, noting that it’s one of the most famous music rooms in the Southeast. “Everything about it just seems right.”