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Roswell Tap developing talent on Tuesdays
by Joan Durbin
jdurbin@neighbornewspapers.com
April 03, 2013 11:27 AM | 2203 views | 0 0 comments | 13 13 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Staff / Erin Gray<br>From left, high school students Maddie Monroe and Kali Janette will be participating in the upcoming Singer Songwriter Series on Tuesdays at the Roswell Tap.
Staff / Erin Gray
From left, high school students Maddie Monroe and Kali Janette will be participating in the upcoming Singer Songwriter Series on Tuesdays at the Roswell Tap.
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Live music coupled with good food is always a draw in the hospitality industry.

But in north Fulton, only a few places have offered both, other than perhaps for one night a week.

Sean McDonough and Jerome Stuart are out to change that. For the past few months, their restaurant, the Roswell Tap, has had musicians performing four nights a week and are aiming for a fifth.

On Tuesdays, there is a competition for six singer-songwriters, with the winner guaranteed a paid booking at the venue.

This isn’t to be confused with an open mic night, Stuart said. Would-be performers must register and be vetted by Chip Jones, a professional musician who has worked closely with the Tap to acquire talent.

In addition to opening the door to a future booking at the restaurant, the competition has a $100 prize and the audience gets to choose the winner.

“It’s a great night of entertainment, first and foremost, but it also allows me to see an actual performance before I book someone,” said Stuart, the Tap’s managing partner. “In effect, it’s an audition process because it gives me a way to judge someone’s talent.”

Thursday is family night, and often the performers are teenagers with talent already demonstrated on a Tuesday.

Milton High School student Maddie Monroe, 17, is one of those musicians. She has been playing guitar for five years and performing in public for two “I have performed at many other local restaurants and venues, however, the Tap is a favorite place of mine to play,” Monroe said.

“Its warm and unique environment draws people in and welcomes anyone. It is an honor to get to play there and is great exposure to the public.

“There are always people to hear you play and they are all very supportive and encouraging.”

Fridays and Saturdays, adult musicians take over the entertainment duties. And when the weather improves, the music will stretch to Sunday afternoons on the Tap’s front patio.

The Tuesday Singer/Songwriter Series fuels not only the Tap’s immediate lineup on other nights, but also lays the foundation for a future circuit when The Tap licenses itself in other cities, a plan currently in the works, Stuart said.

“We want to catch these folks while they’re young, because our bigger plan is to expand the Tap name and as we do that, we can help their careers along as we grow,” he said. “We’re basically cultivating talent for what we want to call the Grits Circuit.”

The name is apt. McDonough, who is partners with Stuart in the Tap, is also CEO of the Roswell Food Group, which markets grits chips with Jeff Foxworthy’s Southern Creations. The chips were created at The Tap not long after it first opened.

All of the performers on Tuesdays write their own music, and both established acts and newcomers alike have performed in the series.

According to Stuart, the Singer/Songwriter Series has turned in to a de facto “mutual appreciation night,” with many of the area’s top performers showing up not only to play, but also to support their fellow songwriters and musicians.

The restaurant is co-producing a compilation disc of its Tuesday night winners with Roswell’s Lucky Dog Studios and even has plans for a record label.

The Roswell Tap is at 1090 Alpharetta Street, Roswell. For information on the Singer/Songwriter Series, call (770) 992-9206.
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