Get the Beat and Some New to You Vinyl in Jeff City and Columbia
I don't know if you know this, but I collect records. Music on vinyl. And I was so disappointed when I moved to Sedalia three years ago because there were absolutely no record stores. Luckily, that's since changed. We now have two places (three if you count Walmart) where you can get records in town. But variety is the spice of life. And there's no telling what record you'll find hiding in plain sight that you didn't know you need. So Monday, James Harmon, and some of the #FridayNightMusicClub gang from Jammin Nuggets Music headed into Jefferson City and Columbia for a day of record browsing.
Records in Sedalia
Both Josey Books and Records and Jammin' Nuggets Music are worth checking out and both have a good selection of used records. I've found records I've been looking for at both stores. Josey tends to stock more new releases and reissues, while Jammin' Nuggets takes a more curated approach to new music by focusing on the titles they believe their clientele is interested in. Walmart only stocks new music, and then their selection is limited to the latest releases from superstar artists, classic iconic albums from superstar artists, and greatest hits packages.
My favorite store is Jammin' Nuggets Music because it truly is a family-run small business with people who love -- and have opinions about music - running the place. It's also more social. I've never had conversations with the staff at Josey. Or the other customers. Not that it can't happen, it's just a larger space and doesn't lend itself to that. At Jammin' Nuggets I've made friends with both the owners and the customers. It's just that kind of place. And one of the things I'm looking for in a record store.
Why Leave Town to Shop Records?
Good record stores all create their own vibe. And to a certain extent, they rely on their owners and the community in which they operate to support their used record offerings. So, while most stores are going to have some of the same records, ok, maybe even many of the same new and used records on the shelves. Each one is going to also have different offerings.
For example, I've been looking for The GoGo's "Talk Show" for the past six months. A copy finally walked into Jammin' Nuggets last week. Yet one of the stores we checked out on Monday had three copies available. So there's always a chance that something that's seemingly hard to find in one place might be easier to find 30, 40, 60 miles away. And the second is the vibe. The experience. The excitement of checking out a different place.
The Record Stores we Checked Out in Jefferson City and Columbia
So that's what we set out to do Monday. Check out and experience three different record stores. And I'd say, we all came away happy and purchased some vinyl we haven't been able to find here in town.
Our first stop was In The Groove Records in Jefferson City. According to their Facebook page In The Groove has been around for over 20 years and they feature Rock, Jazz, R&B, Soul, and Blues. They have a great selection of each genre and it's very easy to find what you're looking for. Additionally, they have a generous selection of bargain-priced records.
I found an 80's compilation record called "Dance Traxx Vol.1" in the bargain bin that I had when I was a kid and was looking for. I also picked up an album by a late 70's rock band called Detective and 80's Hi NRG Dance group The Flirts.
What I liked most about In The Groove Records is their section dedicated to 80's music.
Then we headed into Columbia for lunch at White Castle and had two more stores to check out.
The first was Hitt Records at 10 Hitt Street in Columbia. According to Hitt Records website, they're Columbia's only independent, locally-owned record store. They pride themselves on being a terrific source for non-mainstream music. Think underground rap, electronic, world, experimental, ambient, and metal music.
Don't let the alternative vibe fool you, there are plenty of mainstream classic albums from the '70s and '80s available. I found a copy of the very mainstream Dire Straits album "Brothers In Arms" which I grabbed because it's not a used record you see very often and I've been looking for a copy. You will pay a little more for the records here, but the store's on a different level than many of the stores I've visited, period.
What I liked the most about Hitt Records was their alternative music selection and the fact that their used records, all of them, are in very good condition.
Finally, we checked out B-Side Records / Bluescentric on Fay Street. The B-Side isn't so much a record store, as a place to go if you're looking for blues, soul, and late 60's and early 70's band merch. Their selection of records was rather thin, although I did manage to find a well-loved copy of Van Halen's 1984.
What B-Side / Bluescentric is best at is their hats, t-shirts, and band merch. They hold the licenses to produce a variety of memorabilia for classic groups like Pink Floyd, Dylan, Hendrix, Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, the Band, CCR, and the Woodstock festival.
We've got great access to vinyl here in Sedalia. That's not something every town our size can say. And it's not something to take for granted. In other words, support our record stores.
Yet it's fun to get out and explore. And there's a couple of great stores in Columbia and Jefferson City to check out. 'Cause, there's a chance you'll find that record that's been alluding you here in town. Or you'll find a record you didn't know you needed.