Remember the 70’s? I was a youngster but I remember the Sony Hi-Fi solid state stereo receiver and turntable in the family room. The shiny buttons and and glowing tuner window, all of it set in beautiful mahogany casing and making magical sounds. I remember the big stack of vinyl records; James Taylor, Elton John, Fleetwood Mac, Simon and Garfunkel, The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Willie Nelson - to name just a few. I’m thankful for my parents good taste in music because from an early age those tunes seem to have carved out some neural pathways that have led to a life full of music.
In the fall of 1991 I moved to Chico California for my freshman year of college. Zach and Mark, two of the guys on my dorm hall, played guitar. I went home for Fall break and on my way back to school I had the family guitar in tow. I was set on learning how to play this wonderful instrument. My finger tips would bleed till calluses formed. Zach taught me 12 bar blues and Mark taught me Bob Dylan tunes and inspired me to write my own songs. It was amazing and I was hooked.
If either of these auto-biographical ramblings resonates with your own story there are two shops at the Factory at Franklin that you should - no, NEED to - check out.
Luna Record Shop has both new and used vinyl nicely curated by owners Brenna Gentry & Calvert Gentry McMahan. They're super friendly and will help you find an album you’ll love as well as help you understand how they rate, test and clean every record that comes into the shop. These two sisters are fourth generation Franklin natives and have loved Franklin, TN for a long time. Some of their happiest memories were in music stores and that's something they wanted visitors and locals in Franklin to experience.
Luna Record Shop is clean, fun, and easy to navigate. If you don't own a record player, you can find one here. Luna also offers music inspired gifts and will buy your used vinyl. Oh, and did I mention they're a Pledged Record Store Day location? Don't miss out on all the fun - including exclusive releases, discounts, and more!
Artisan Guitars isn't your average guitar shop. It's become a destination for collectors. In fact, when folks grace the stage at Music City Roots, they usually stop into the shop to check out the selection and pick a few tunes. The shop's slogan is "Where artistry meets craftmanship," and that rings true as soon as you step through the doors. Artisan represents some of the world's finest acoustic guitar builders of the centry, luthiers who in their own right are Artists in every sense of the term.
Artisan guitars is the place to go if you are looking to get your first guitar or just to add to your collection. I’ve got a wonderful little parlor guitar - a 1964 Martin 0-16 New Yorker, but every time I’m in the the Factory I find myself trying out different Santa Cruz and Huss & Dalton guitars. The folks there will help you understand how spruce tops ring out compared to the warm softer sound of mahogany. They’ll help you figure out what you like best and find something that’ll fit in your lap and in your budget.
If you love listening, check out Luna Record Shop. If you love playing, check out Artisan Guitars. If you’re like me, you’ll spend lots of time in both.