Written by Wanz Dover for The Dallas Observer, September 10th, 2014
Dallas is going through a bit of a record store renaissance. Over the past year, the vinyl comeback that has been root throughout the music industry has made its presence felt locally, as well. Of the stores opening, including the recently opened Off the Record and the soon-to-be-christened Spinster Records, the most ambitious looks to be Josey Records. Josey will carry CDs, DVDs and cassettes, but the main attraction is the mammoth inventory of new and old vinyl from as many genres as you can think of. In short, it will be a crate digger’s dream store ran by a group of veteran crate diggers.
Existing about as far northeast in Dallas as you can get before leaving town, Josey is going for an ambitious super-store vibe that has not existed in Dallas since Tower and Virgin closed their doors. Besides, those stores never had anywhere near as much vinyl. They plan on doing a soft opening in October followed by a grand opening in November.
We had a short chat with one of Josey’s owner’s, Luke Sardello, about what they are bringing to the table with the new venture.
DC9 at Night: What made you decide to get into the record store business in the current climate of the music industry?
Sardello: I actually think the music industry is in a better place now than it has been the last several years, particularly the record business. Momentum has been building the last couple of years and there’s renewed interest in vinyl. Pressing plants are reporting that they can’t keep up with current demand. Vinyl sales are as strong as they’ve been in 25 years. We feel it’s a great time to open a record store and have been excited by the initial response we’ve received.
Who are the people behind Josey Records?
J.T. Donaldson, Waric Cameron and myself, Luke Sardello. We have a combined experience in the music business of nearly 70 years as DJs, producers, record label owners and collectors.
I think you are the first local record store with a listening station where people can hear the records before they purchase. How did that idea come about?
I think that’s an important element of a record store. We think of the digital landscape of being all-encompassing but in reality the majority of our musical history has not been reissued or isn’t available digitally. So discovering part of that musical past involves finding it and physically listening to it. We want to encourage people to listen to what they’re buying and it’s part of building a community.
How does Josey Records fit in the sudden spurt of record stores opening in Dallas?
Our vision is to bring back the community and cultural aspects of what a record store can provide. I’ve never been anti-digital and am not that elitist analog nerd that would argue that you’re not hearing the music as it was intended if you aren’t listening to a record, but I do think we lost some of that interaction you get in a record store.
It’s not like you’ll be exclusively vinyl, after all. You’re selling CDs as well.
We want a place where people that are interested in music can get together, exchange ideas, learn about new music and just hang out. I think a lot of that has been missing from our digital world. So not only are we a record store, we’re a cultural center. We plan on having events and shows that will include an art gallery and a large lounge area with listening stations and music-related ephemera to keep people around and comfortable. If you like music, there will be something you’ll be interested in.
How many records will you have in stock by the time you open? How did you acquire your stock?
I anticipate we’ll open with around 100,000 records on hand and new stock added daily as well as a great selection of CDs, cassettes, books and magazines and some vintage audio gear. I’ve been a collector for over 25 years and a lot of stock will come from me as well as several large collections we’ve picked up in the last year. I am also constantly traveling and digging up new stock to keep fresh inventory coming through the door at all times. We’ll also be implementing a consignment model that will allow our customer base a forum to sell their vinyl or CDs if they want to. And we’ll always be buying. Anyone with an interest in selling their collections should get in touch or come by the store when we open.
What else are you selling besides vinyl?
We will be including an art gallery to showcase upcoming local artists and give them an opportunity to share and sell their works. We’ll also be selling vintage audio gear as well as a selection of new turntables and headphones, music-related books and magazines and music memorabilia.