Sometimes all a musician needs is an opening pick. And a city like Durango, one with a growing and fertile music scene that has dozens of bands of different genres; a few different non-profit music schools; a handful of places; annual classical, Celtic and bluegrass music festivals; and regular concerts in the parks; and a college with a stellar music department should have places that can provide that musician with the choice he needs. Or guitar, banjo, bass or mandolin strings. Or a reed. Or a wind instrument, or hell, a slide whistle.
Any city with a stellar music scene is most likely backed by a music store, a place that offers the aforementioned equipment, while also serving as a gathering place, musical confidence, and a ground of influence where bands can form. and start taking the first steps to get some ground. The kind of place that would have a bulletin board with a crudely written flyer that said, “I’m looking to start a band.” Influences are Husker Du and Green on Red ”or“ Country band looking for a bass player. Florida Georgia Line fans do not need to apply.
At one time, Durango had many unique music stores. These ranged from places that offered high-end acoustic instruments suited to the productive and prolific folk and bluegrass scene, to stores that provided a handful of instruments while also featuring home stereo equipment and installation services. audio systems. Another had thousands of items in their inventory as well as a variety of instrument and vocal lessons, while yet another had inventory while providing space for musicians to meet only once a week. to jam.
“People find a deep connection, release and solace in playing music,” said Jim Gillaspy, former owner of one of the now-discontinued stores and current owner of Jimmy’s Music. “There are only a handful of things humans did thousands and thousands of years ago: we ate, pooped, reproduced, danced and beat on drums. Art is an integral part of our soul and our being. So there is an urgent need to have music, and there is an urgent need to support this music with all the goodies.
Jimmy’s Music is currently Durango’s only music store and is currently in the process of relocating to a larger space on Main Avenue just south of the offices of The Herald of Durango. It seems that the novelty and ease of shopping online is starting to decline slightly, as people appreciate the kinship of a person-to-person purchase and the human association between buyer and seller.
“In a music store, one of my obligations is to establish a certain connection. As a kid, you might walk into a candy store and be amazed and create a great memory, ”said Gillaspy. “A music store is one of those things; you remember the day you bought your first guitar. You have experiences in a music store that mean something. And it’s a pretty cool thing to be in this space, maybe even organize what this space is.
Just like going to a group’s performance on a national tour and arriving early enough to see the local opening and purchase the proceeds of that opening, your support nurtures the music community. Few internet sales come with the camaraderie which may include a conversation about types of instruments, being turned to a new band or record, or being told about a local performance. It’s all part of the structuring of a scene.
“Local music stores are in a better position to build real relationships with musicians and provide valuable service and honest advice,” said longtime local musician Pat Dressen. “It feels good to support a local store. Money circulates in town. Hell, that person behind the counter might be in the audience at your next show.
Now what about a place to buy records?
Bryant Liggett is a freelance writer and director of KDUR station. Contact him at [email protected]