Jeff Talmadge: The best kept secret in Atlanta?

It's best if you get out of your own way, sings Jeff Talmadge in the song "Rose Tattoo" from his latest CD Gravity, Grace and the Moon.

It may not sound like much more than a bit of sagely advice, but when heard in the context of the song — a sparse, sublime ode to life's mysteries and endless fascinations — it's enough to knock you on your ass. In fact, listening to Gravity it soon becomes apparent that there's not a misplaced word on the entire disc.

Talmadge is a songwriter's writer — comparisons to the Texas school of songwriting (Townes Van Zandt, James McMurtry et al) spring to mind. So, it comes as no surprise that Talmadge is also a Texan. But, knowing that he was once called "the best kept secret in Austin" begs the question: "Why relocate to Atlanta?"

Much like his legendary influences from the Lone Star State, Talmadge is quick to point out the woman in the picture.

"This is where my fiancee lives," he says from his new home in Roswell.

And what does he think of the music scene in Atlanta, so far?

"Atlanta's just so big compared to Austin. There doesn't seem to be a 'scene' here so much as a bunch of spread out little scenes — but I'm surprised and happy with it so far. People are very responsive, it's just a matter of finding a way to connect with them."

Jeff Talmadge hosts the North Fulton Songwriters Circle every Thursday at Dreamcatcher Guitars.