Written by Michael Granberry for The Dallas Morning News, June 23rd, 2015
The vinyl record revolution continues to gather momentum, with such retail outlets as Barnes & Noble and Urban Outfitters now offering vinyl. That’s nothing new to Farmers Branch-based Josey Records, which over the weekend marked a milestone.
Josey has been so successful, say its owners, that it did what successful businesses tend to do – it expanded, staging a grand opening of a Josey Records in Kansas City, Mo.
Why Kansas City?
“For one, it has a rich musical history,” says Luke Sardello, who shares the role of managing partner with J.T. Donaldson and Waric Cameron. “It has a rich jazz history and a history of having great record stores.”
Sardello used to love buying records at the now-defunct Music Exchange in Kansas City. Plus, he and his partners have ventured there “quite a bit to DJ, and we just like it a lot, so we began to look at it as our second location.”
The Dallas-area store, near the intersection of Josey Lane and Interstate 635, has been so successful since opening in October that expansion felt like a no-brainer. Even so, the Kansas City store will differ from the one in Farmers Branch by staking out its own identity.
“It’ll be featuring more things unique to Kansas City,” Sardello says. “It’s a little bit more of a live music or rock town than Dallas is, so we’re trying to focus on bringing in bands quite a bit and make sure we carry and support local artists in the KC area.”
Sardello contends that the vinyl resurgence is so alive that it’s now captivating the young, “who didn’t grow up with it, so it’s something entirely new to them. From an artist’s perspective, vinyl is still the best way to present their complete idea. Artists find that vinyl allows them to do so much more with their presentation. It’s a much better way to connect with fans.”
For one, downloading singles compromises the theme approach that many artists hope to achieve with an album. Jackson Browne’s Late for the Sky, Bob Dylan’sBlood on the Tracks and Willie Nelson’s Red Headed Stranger are themed albums that would suffer if not played as a complete musical experience. The guys at Josey are happy to educate fans about why vinyl works better on a thematic level, in addition to sounding better.
As Sardello points out, the resurgence is hardly exclusive to Josey. Good Records thrives on Greenville Avenue, Doc’s does well in Fort Worth, as does Forever Young in Arlington and Bill’s on South Lamar. Spinster Records in Oak Cliff opened the same week as Josey Records.
Vinyl, Sardello says, is alive and well in Dallas and now Kansas City.