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 For over 30 years the Record Emporium has been bringing the music  to you. The basis of this passion has always been the phrase "You gotta hear this".

It is difficult to live in a world where music is not the great expansive soundtrack of our lives. We are isolated in our headphone cocoons. What are you listening too? I'd like to try and bridge that gap. We'll see if anyone in interested.

The best stuff that I hear is from people that are out there playing. Great tunes. Great people. Diminutive crowds. I'm sure that you all have something that you want me to hear. I'm going to try and put together some regular playlist editions for you to listen on Spotify.

Why Spotify?.

Simple You can listen for free and we don't have to handle licensing and royalty payments. Any musician can opt out of Spotify.

If you have something you want us to review that isn't on Spotify and provide links to it and we'll do that too. Please don't us the files though, just the links or the hard copies. We'll give you a fair shake. Got to admit, we're not much on rap or house but we'll do our best if you think you have something that can break through these old ears. In the meantime, you gotta hear this..."


1) Johnny Dowd - Betty. Boomer Sooner, Johnny Dowd from Paul's Valley, OK. Been a fan for quite a while, since Johnny sang that song about his baby being in a coma in Paul's Valley, Oklahoma. A lifer, a rock and roll warrior. Not everyone's taste, but give Betty a spin. A couple years back I was trying to convince folks to send me review copies of their albums for this here space. Like a lot of things, my good intentions never caught on. Johnny sent me a copy of this. I loved it. Hope you do too.

2) Caroline Herring - Camilla. Caroline was the other one to send a disc in. Nice sound and then it started sinking in that she was singing with lyrics of substance. Think this was her last effort. Hope she is doing more. Apologies, guys, didn't forget.

3) Kathy Greenholdt - Face of God. Kathy was a long time friend of the Record Emporium. She is such a nice young lady, we were taken a bit aback by "When You're Dead" album. She collaborates with Steve Dawson here for a critically acclaimed album. Way to Go,

4) Mike Felten - Maxwell Street Story & 5) We Ain't Goin' Away. Here's this guy again. He reprises a story from his live show and plays the slide.

6) Dolph Chaney - Shenanigans. Dolphus sings the occasional song about cats, but we'll forgive him. We'll just call Shenanigans when they come on. Need to go out and share a stage with #4 again soon. Prop him up.

7) Patti Griffin - Don't Let Me Die In Florida. Saw Patti do a gig at the Elbo Room of all places. Been a fan ever since. Used to think she was from Boston, but someone told us it was Austin. Maybe she moved. I don't know, but she sure doesn't want to die in the sunshine state.

8) Sid Selvidge - A BlondeHeaded Girl in a Convertible Automobile. Stumbled on the late Mr. Selvidge and his unique vocals on some late night highway. Loved his stuff.

9) Bottle Rockets - Smokin' 100's Alone. Picked up an acoustic bootleg with this song on it. I guess it is one of their lesser ones, but let me know what you think.

10) Bob Dylan - Wagon Wheel. Bob tossed this one away, but now it seems like bar bands everywhere are doing it. Thought the original might shed a little light on us.

Record Emporium Playlist #2 25 Anniversary

In 2004 the Record Emporium celebrated their 25th anniversary with a release of a free disc. Tried to recreate that here with some of the same artists and the same songs.

1.) Jeff Tweedy - Ballad of the Opening Band. Jeff wasn't on the disc, but Tweedy, Wilco and Tony Margherita Management were always good friends of the Record Emporium. Any time we had a benefit and needed a giveaway, signed this or that, they always took the time. It was always appreciated.

2) M.O.T.O. - Dance Dance Dance Dance Dance. Co-conspirator Caporino was on the disc. This was a seminal release during the Bush years. Who cares the best tradition of the Ramones.

3) Nellie Bly -Bucket of Blood. An LA band who used to run bake sales before gigs to finance their efforts before Kickstarters etc:. Always a joy.

4) Mike Felten - Life Goes to Hell. From the 2003 Landfill release that started it all.

5) Jana Peri - Dating Sucks. Jana played the last Record Emporium in-store. Combined one store front into two and it was over for all intents and purposes. Jana sent us out with a bang. NYC is lucky to have her.

6.) John Prine - This Guitar Is For Sale Chicago boy and nationwide legend. Another guy that was always there for the little record store. Never met anyone that wasn't a fan.

7.) Larry O. Dean Poet, songwriter and long time host of the Folk You songwriter series. Frosted Flakes is just one of those songs that tickles the fancy.

8.) Otis Gibbs - Detroit Steel. I don't know how many times Otis played the Record Emporium. Remember one disappointing night when an election was stolen. Better times are always there when you listen to Otis. Not the track that was on the original, but a good 'un.

9.) Gidgets Ga-Ga - Dreamer. Mike has been bringing his brand of power pop for years. Sad to say like a lot of folks they don't seem to get very far, but that doesn't prevent them from kicking out the quality. Much appreciated.

10) Ani Difranco - Untouchable Face. A lady who wrote the blue print for independent music business. Great songs, great label and always an inspiration.

Lost touch with most of these folks, but I hope they are all still out there still picking.

Record Emporium Playlist #1

Playlist #1 notes.

Loved this JIM WHITE song for a while. I manage to do a version of it occasionally. Jim does it better.

BUD SUMMERS plays everywhere in the St. Louis area. Sometimes manages to get up to Chicago and Michigan. Sublime, fine player.

KEITH GORDON's CD came in the mail, but it caught my ear. This is an old one too, gotta hear more.

MIKE FELTEN of course, is better than whiskey or sex or having Jesus change your tire on a rainy night.

JAMES COTTON, Learned this song from the late J.D. Smiley Lewis. A classic.

KEITH MOODY playing some great rock and roll from down in Alabama. Love to share a stage with this road warrior again,

EDDIE "CLEANHEAD" VINSON always been a hero to bald guys. Sweet blues sound that you don't hear too much anymore.

GRAHAM WILKINSON from the Texas singer/songwriter tradition. Did a sad night with him at the Horseshoe in Chicago. Fan ever since.

PAUL COADY from the Edsel Brothers or vice versa. This song stuck with me. If you play bars it isn't about how good you are, it's how much beer you sell. Paul is a good picker and beer salesman.

BILLY JOE SHAVER is premium songwriter and the real deal, He walks it like he talks it. Better yet a pretty great guy.

RENEGADE RAIL. Just stumbled across this fun song and it won't go away. Hope they are still out there somewhere.

MIKE CROSS is one of those great acoustic players. This song stuck with me for years. Got to hear him live someday.

BOB MARTIN has been a hero for a long time. Rumor has it that he gives up music from time to time and lets real life intrude. Had a couple of classic albums in the 1980's. He seems more rock now, but I like this one.

M.O.T.O. This is a young Paul Caporino on this version back before the whiskey took hold, He continues to tour in the long shadow of his former self. Seriously, always on tour and in the studio, check out old buddy Paul.

BOTTLE ROCKETS. Couldn't get this song out of my head. For all the guys on the road tonight with that red light flashing on the dashboard. Take it home safe,

Record Emporium Old School 1979-1991





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