CAFE M.A.D. of Augusta • 307.5 11th Street between Ellis/Greene upstairs • Augusta, Georgia 30901
Since first opening the doors on August 11th, 2012, M.A.D. Studios has existed to a: Foster respect and support for local artists, and b: Provide a proper space for lovers of art. What began initially as an art gallery, meets art studio, meets recording studio, meets acoustic performance room has in three short years morphed into Downtown Augusta's ultimate, intimate listening room/performance venue thanks largely in part to the time, talents and care of performing artists and patrons. Essentially, M.A.D. Studios has become the space where artists and audience can communicate without the distractions of traditional music venues.
Shortly after opening, the venue drew the attention of MTV's "Made" who filmed an episode at the studio and long-time spoken word poetry supporter Catherine the Great who spearheaded a weekly poetry/spoken word/poetry prose open mic, that has since become the longest running weekly poetry event of its kind in the Southeast. Owners and volunteers then followed that up with the addition of a stage, curtain, and wall-length mural; all of which have only added to the appeal of the venue to artists and patrons.
The venue's clear sound and cool vibe continues to appeal to visiting artists, many who request too return as well as continue to recommend the venue to other artists. Previous artists who have shown love for the room include: Tony/Grammy nominated Nashville singer-songwriter Lauren Lucas, Shawn Mullins protege's Callaghan (UK), and Matthew Kahler (Atlanta, GA), Southwest singer-songwriter David Berkeley, Top 40 songwriter Jefferson Ross, Lewis family bassist Scott Terry, Def Comedy Jam's Georgia Me, Top 10 multi-platinum artist Mike Tramp of White Lion fame, and many more.
In addition to hosting the best in traveling artists, M.A.D. Studios also strives to present young artists with an opportunity to comfortably take the stage for the first time. Several artists who have started at M.A.D. Studios have gone on to take the stage in such institutions as America's Got Talent, American Idol, The Voice, Country Showdown, and other Nationally recognized talent searches.
At the end of the day not only does M.A.D. Studios help provide quality art for quality patrons, but also the most diverse artistic offerings in the area, opening the stage for films, plays, and literary readings, as well as just about every genre of music imaginable. It is the personal belief of everyone at M.A.D. that not only does our venue deserve an audience, the audiences in the CSRA deserve a venue where they can enjoy art in a setting that allows them to achieve the most out of the experience. We hope that we have achieved this goal so far.
What some of our friends, and friends we have made along the way have said:
"The most intimate and enjoyable venue downtown."
"MAD Studios: the most gorgeous stage in the city."
"Great vibe. Refreshing to play your own tunes to an audience who cares."
"Augusta has needed a listening room venue like M.A.D. Studios for the longest time."
"I love playing M.A.D. Studios. It is such and awesome room. It sounds amazing. It's cozy and I definitely want to come back."
"Playing M.A.D. Studios is such an intimate experience. You find yourself in this living room atmosphere that gives you an opportunity to truly absorb your audiences raction to the music. It's unlike any other venue in town."
"The listening room atmosphere of M.A.D. Studios provides great vibes for singer/songwriters and the staff helps local talent in a very professional manner. I look forward to playing there again."
"Musicians on the local scene struggle to find a venue that gives them a true opportunity to be heard. M.A.D. Studios gives the chance for every lyric and every note to be taken in by the listener. A True musician will greatly appreciate the atmosphere and presence they are allowed by M.A.D. Studios."
"M.A.D. Studios is a very unique environment that allows an artist to be effectively showcased and really pour out their material in a very intimate way for a room full of people who are there to open their hearts to it. It's a special place to play for sure. The setting is just so natural and completely centered around the artist(s)/artwork. No smokey bar, no noisy crowd. Just the honest expression of art."
"It's awesome! It's so nice to play in a venue where people are there to feel your music."
"M.A.D. Studios offers something uniquely special to the Augusta music scene, to concert goers and to anyone who is a connoisseur of the arts. Stripping away most of the ubiquitous stage elements of a typical show that usually creates a divide between performers and the audience, M.A.D. Studios' chill, intimate setting lends itself perfectly for that experience of exclusivity that comes from being a part of something as it's happening in the raw, yet, it's accessible to everyone. With a basic setup of mics and instruments the artists can speak directly to the listeners and tell the stories behind the songs while the audience gets to connect on a personal level with the performers. It's one part art gallery, one part recording studio, and one part music venue that's the perfect space for a night of great music and good vibes. You can pull up a pillow, a chair, a skateboard, or whatever and sit back for a cool show."
"Augusta needed a listening room like this!"
"This is not a drinking establishment with a music sideline and it is not a place people happen to find or discover. It’s a destination and a haven. It’s sacred territory for people who consider that act of listening something sacred."
MUSIC by MARK HODGES / AUGUSTA MAGAZINE FEB/MAR 2014
When you think of going out on the town to hear music, you generally picture the hectic bar and nightclub scene. The idea of smoky rooms filled with loud people can be a turn-off, however, and the distractions of the venue can put a damper on the enjoyment of the music. This is true not only for the audience, but also for the musicians who are often playing to a disconnected crowd.
M.A.D. Studios was created to fill this gap. The brainchild of local music legend John “Stoney” Cannon, M.A.D. Studios is Augusta’s first “listening room” and it’s a place where musicians and music lovers can come together for the sake of music. Short for Music Art Design, M.A.D. Studios is not a bar, restaurant or nightclub, but rather a dedicated performance space. To emphasize that point, it’s also an all-ages venue that is smoke- and alcohol-free.
The room itself is small and intimate, with a seating capacity of around 60 people. There’s a small stage up front that puts the performers right on top of the audience, giving them an up-close and highly personal listening experience. Because of the cozy nature of the room, most of the music played is acoustic and of the singer-songwriter variety. There are scheduled performances by national, regional and local acts as well as regular open-mic nights for anyone wishing to show off his or her musical talent.
The venue also doubles as a professional recording studio and artists can take advantage of the opportunity to record their live performances for a fee. As a bonus for the struggling musician, M.A.D. Studios offers a package deal where the price of recording can be recouped through ticket sales. It’s a win-win situation for artists who are just starting out and looking to build up a core base of fans.
Slightly off the beaten path, M.A.D. Studios isn’t a place you would generally stumble upon while bar-hopping in the downtown area. It is a secluded, upstairs perch at 307.5 11th Street, a couple of blocks off Broad Street. It’s easy to miss if you’re not looking for it. But once you find it, you will discover one of downtown Augusta’s hidden treasures. It’s a musical destination that needs to be sought out and savored.