The music momentum is going strong at the Tin Roof Cantina’s Acoustic Showdown for the 2nd Series of a musical competition that is hosted by Ian Schumacher (an incredible musician himself) … Bands are currently competing for some great prizes including $1500 and a gig at 97.1 The River’s Wing and Rock Fest! Schumacher obviously isn’t just a great musician, he is a great promoter of local musicians and a smart business man, landing sponsors like Miller Lite, Jack Daniels Honey, USA Entertainment, Atlanta Bar Tours, and Tin Roof Cantina. Local studio, ZAC Recording has also joined the sponsor list for the second round, offering 6 hours of studio time to the jackpot. ZAC’s big room, aka “Stonehenge”, has hosted sessions for Whitney Houston, Snoop, Usher, Fergie, Butch Walker, Oteil Burbridge and Drivin ‘n’ Cryin (just to name a few).

I spoke with Ian earlier today and here is more information on this unique (and successful) showdown:


How did you get started with this idea?

The showdown was conceived last December in a conversation with my good friend, Stacey Schneider, as we were bitching about how the vibrant Atlanta music scene needed a fresh new medium for artists to get together and get to hear and share what is happening. Tin Roof has always been a musicians’ hangout’, so it only made sense to put it on in a venue we all love and hang at anyway. Jack Hudnall, one of the Roof’s owners, and an avid music supporter, immediately jumped on board…and after many serious meetings at the ping pong table, we formulated the vision. Honestly though…I really just wanted to have a place where I could go hear a ton of great music on a Monday night and be surrounded by inspiring people. I’ve always gigged so much that I never get to hear what my friends and fellow professionals are doing…so I basically designed my dream night out – 12 badass performers in 3 hours, cheap Jack Daniel’s and Miller Lite with NO COVER.


How is this different from other “open mics” around town?

Our city already has a lot of great open mics…but I wanted something different, something bigger – Something more professional, geared towards professionals. We had the ridiculous idea to come up with a competition for $1,500 in cash prizes…and suddenly the whole Atlanta songwriter scene flooded our sign-up sheets and stage with brilliance. I can honestly say that every single night of the showdown, I have been emotionally moved and artistically inspired by the quality of performers and the wealth of talent. And we are typically booked 2-3 weeks in advance. The first series blew away all of our expectations, and the second series is proving to be even bigger than the first! I can’t imagine this train stopping anytime soon.


How does the competition work?

Each series is 6 weeks long, 12 acts per night. This series ends on April 1, with the finals happening on Friday April 5. The previous finals was the best night of music I’ve ever seen. It was so busy that we had to take out all the tables and chairs and rent smaller ones to house everyone. Congrats to our 1st series winners Michael Mann (from the band Radiolucent) and Jesse Tyler. Each Monday night, we give away $200 in house cash – $100 to two winners. It is extremely important to me that this remains fair and non-political, so we don’t have judges. The two winners are decided by voting – the crowd votes for one winner, and the artists vote for the other. No politics. No BS.


Who are some of the winners so far?

Our win list reads like the who-is-who of Atlanta-Current Series 2 winners who will be performing in the finals on April 5 include: IOZ, Neil Cribbs, Jeremy Dean, Lace & Eliza, Caleb Little and Andrew Black.

Series 1 winners were: Prisca Strother, Donna Hopkins, Madison Laughridge, HotWork (Dave Roland & Matt Palmer), Tim E McNary, Michael Mann (from Radiolucent), Paul Warner, Keena Graham w/ Kim Bates and Homer Matsunaga, Jesse Tyler, City Mouse, Sailing to Denver, Melissa Owens and Anthony Crane

What do musicians need to do if they want to sign up?

We only have a few performance slots left for this series, so if you are interested in signing up…now is the time to do so! Due to the overwhelming response we’ve received, the only way to get into the competition is by coming down to the Showdown on a Monday night and signing up in person.

You can find more information on our facebook group page @,, or at

photos copyright 2013 Keri Mcdaniel