Magnolia’s Vintage Sound music store to open in May

Portraits of Freddy Mercury, Dave Grohl and many other music industry artists share the walls with acoustic and electric guitars at Magnolia’s new Vintage Sound music store, slated to open in May in the square.

Alongside Magnolia Nutrition, the new store is owned by former Central Hub owner Kevin Barker, who is no stranger to the music scene.

“When I was building Central Hub, I spent $600,000 of my personal money building this place. And I did it to bring music to Magnolia,” Barker said, “I had 84 shows in that building. I had everyone from locals to as big as Motley Crue.

When asked why he decided to open a music store in Magnolia, Barker said it came down to the availability of music-related equipment in town.

“There are so many musicians in town and we have to get to Texarkana to really get it all,” Barker said, “(At Central Hub) we had so many bands and so much musical equipment that when something went wrong is broken, we couldn’t ‘get anything. I was going to Texarkana and getting extras of everything. It made me realize that it would be nice if there was a place close by to buy this.

Barker said one of the problems with Texarkana music stores is that they rely on vendor inventory and typically only sell one brand of instrument. A musician himself, Barker said his inventory of guitars comes from his personal collection that he’s purchased over the decades and will soon be available to the public.

“I want a place where musicians can relax comfortably and we have a studio out back where bands can rehearse and practice and people can get together to make music,” Barker said. “It’s a music store, but more importantly, it’s also a place where musicians can come.”

Currently, Barker is preparing the store by putting items away and finishing renovations. He said he plans to have the store open Tuesday through Saturday from noon to 6 p.m., selling musical instruments, amplifiers and accessories with live music a few nights a week. Despite all the work, he says he’s not worried if the store doesn’t return his investment.

“I have never done anything in my life for money. I only do things I love and then it’s like you never work and the money will come. It doesn’t matter if I make a dollar or $10 million, it’s not about the money at the end of the day,” Barker said.

Alice P. Darby