Vinyl in the veins: Records make a comeback in the Grand Junction music market
WANT TO BROWSE FOR VINYL?
Check out Triple Play Records at 530 Main St. in GJ, or head to Hastings at 2401 North Ave.
When Grand Junction resident Scott Folsom sits down to listen to an album from his vinyl record music collection, it’s the ritual that gets him every time.
“You clean the record, you physically handle it, you place the needle on the record, you play it, and you look at the album covers,” 47-year-old Folsom said. “It’s a process.”
Indeed, Folsom takes his love for listening to music on vinyl quite seriously — his stereo system is placed in a “perfect, shoe-box shaped room,” his chairs measure out to the proper listening distance, and the stereo dominates what the room is used for in his home.
And when Folsom goes into his music sanctuary — with his wife Micaela, friends or alone, it’s because he wants to relax and truly listen to the music in the right frame of mind.
“I tend to be more apt to sit down and listen to music when it’s vinyl,” he said. “If I want background music, I’ll stream; I’ll listen to Pandora.
“It’s a fun hobby.”
Folsom is part of a growing demographic of music lovers of all ages making a return to modern music listening at its roots — vinyl records and turntables.
For instance, Mike Guerrero, a 20-year-old music enthusiast, often prefers listening to music on vinyl because “it’s just a better sound. It’s more raw.”
He started buying jazz music on vinyl at age 16 and never looked back.
Guerrero’s employer — Rock Cesario, owner of Triple Play Records on Main Street in downtown Grand Junction — agreed, saying music on vinyl sounds “warmer” because there’s more separation in the speakers.
“When I’m at home, I just listen to records,” Rock noted.
Matthew Cesario, Rock’s son and co-owner of Triple Play, also appreciates vintage vinyl for “the nostalgia, the history” — and just like Folsom — “the process of doing it.”
“I like taking a record out of the sleeve, putting it on the platter, and setting the needle down,” Matthew said. “It’s fun to do.”
According to Rock, it’s not just the Baby Boomers coming in to purchase classic favorites.
“Kids are driving new vinyl sales,” by purchasing recording artists like Daft Punk, he noted, and they’re also discovering old vinyl, like the Beatles, the Doors, and Pink Floyd.
“We sell more vinyl now than CDs,” Rock confirmed, adding that 2013’s vinyl sales were better than any other year in business. “There’s always been a segment of the marketplace” interested in records, but now it’s growing again.
That’s a big deal for Triple Play, as the shop has been in business 26 years (in a few different locations) on Grand Junction’s historic Main Street.
Other musicians currently selling well on vinyl in Rock’s shop include Mumford and Sons, the Lumineers, Bob Marley, Miles Davis, the Talking Heads, and Johnny Cash. Triple Play also sells turntables.
“The music that endures is what we sell,” Rock said. “We’ll also see more new albums released on vinyl from all genres.”
Folsom also expects a surge in new musicians releasing albums to vinyl.
In this day and age, musicians who are “highly involved in recording and the play back of music” will release their albums to vinyl, he said. For instance, “the newest Nora Jones album recorded really well, and anything Jack White is involved with sounds great on vinyl.”
Other newer artists Folsom listens to in his music room includes Wilco and The Black Keys. He owns many big collections of classical music and jazz records as well.
“I have 309 records, 80 of which are box sets,” he added.
Besides Triple Play, folks interested in browsing for vinyl should head to Hastings on North Avenue, Folsom continued.
“I like to go into a record store and just go snoop,” he said. “There’s an attraction to just looking for records” without specific aim.
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