Record Store Day marks fifteen years on April 23 with stellar releases – Garden & Gun
“Discoveries happen every day in record stores, whether it’s an older release or an artist you don’t know,” says Carrie Colliton, a resident of Raleigh, NC. Nord, who has spent his career working in record stores. Along with a cohort of record store owners and staff nationwide, Colliton co-founded and is currently director of Record Store Day, a celebration of vinyl lovers which celebrates its fifteenth anniversary this year on April 23. Independent record stores across the country and around the world are celebrating Record Store Day with concerts, in-store promotions and exclusive album releases.
The idea for the celebration originated in 2007 at the Sound Garden record store in Baltimore, where store owners and staff from across the country came together to brainstorm ways to support independent music stores. Fifteen years later, despite some painful store closures (the Ernest Tubb Record Shop in Nashville recently announced that it was closing its Broadway building after seventy-five years in business), interest in vinyl has reached a twenty-five year high. “The resurgence of vinyl records has continued for the fifteenth consecutive year,” says the latest report from the Recording Industry Association of America. “Revenues grew 61% to $1 billion in 2021. The last time vinyl records topped $1 billion was in 1986.”
That figure includes online sales, but Record Store Day encourages a completely analog experience wherever possible: physical records purchased from physical stores, Colliton says. “Some of the most iconic record stores are down South,” she says. “We’re lucky to have about five stores in Raleigh alone.” She also highlights the End of All Music in Oxford, Mississippi, as one of her favorite shops. (Find the full list of participating stores here.)
This year, she returned to where it all began in Baltimore. “Sound Garden is one of those places that shows what a record store means to its community,” she says. “They have a great new garden space and I know tons of people will be coming out because it’s our first real in-person Record Store Day since the pandemic started.”
This year’s specials include hard-to-find record reissues, new albums, recent releases with bonus content, and standout collections. Here are a handful of Record Store Day 2022 releases that might thrill Southern music fans. (Note that individual stores offer different deals – each store places orders based on its location and customer tastes.)
Allman Brothers Band, Cream of the 2003 harvest
From Peach Records comes the vinyl version of a 2018 CD produced by Warren Haynes, featuring songs from six different Allman Brothers Band gigs in late summer 2003. Gregg Allman leads the closest: “Whipping Post live in Raleigh.
Betty Harris, The Lost Queen of New Orleans Soul
Betty Harris came from her home in Florida to record with Allen Toussaint and his New Orleans session musicians, recording superb soul and funk singles from 1964 to 1969. But the recordings were not widely released beyond from New Orleans, and Harris retired her beautiful voice to raise her family in Florida. New Orleans music fans consider her the “lost queen” of the city’s music scene, and for a special Record Store Day double LP release, her soulful songs are making a comeback.
Roky Erickson and explosives, Halloween 2: 2007 Live
“I love Roky Erickson,” Colliton says of the musician considered a pioneer of psychedelic rock. “He was from Austin, Texas, this really prolific songwriter who was like a foreign artist – the musical version. So many people don’t know him but would absolutely love his music.
Kacey Musgraves, damn
The Texas-born megastar released her “divorce album” last fall, but for Record Store Day, she’s releasing a special double-sided photo disc of the record. “We wanted a big run from this album because people love Kacey, and there’s also a lot of people who might still find her,” Colliton says.
Ralph Stanley and the Clinch Mountain Boys, Bluegrass sound
Anyone who loves mountain music knows Ralph Stanley. The American bluegrass music legend originally released it in 1968, and there hasn’t been another reissue since. This new edition is pressed on grass green vinyl.
Ray Charles, Genius loves company
One of the most popular albums of Ray Charles’ career, Genius loves company won eight Grammy Awards, including album of the year and record of the year in 2005. It’s hard to find on vinyl, but Record Store Day is bringing in another 2,000 copies from Charles’ own label, Tangerine. Listen to duets with James Taylor on “Sweet Potato Pie”, “Sinner’s Prayer” with BB King and “Crazy Love” with Van Morrison.
The Sam Phillips Years: Sun Records curated by RSD, Volume 9
For this limited release, a handful of record store staffers came together to choose songs that honor the seventieth anniversary of producer Sam Phillips’ founding of Sun Records in Memphis. Highlights include Johnny Cash’s “Big River” and Jerry Lee Lewis’ “When the Saints Go Marching In”.
John Fred and his band Playboy, Judy in disguise
Baton Rouge, Louisiana native John Fred gained popularity for his 1968 pop hit “Judy in Disguise (With Glasses).” None of his New Orleans “Playboy Band” albums have ever been reissued – until now – and record collectors are sure to feast on this version pressed on psychedelic purple vinyl.
Willie Nelson, Live at the Texas Opry House, 1974
Record Store Day marks the first vinyl release of a beloved 1992 CD that captured the sounds and scene of the new Outlaw Country vibe in Austin, Texas in the early 1970s. Originally recorded on two nights in 1974, the songs capture the young Willie Nelson Family Band before their stars rose.
And a little later…
To accommodate release schedules and supply chain issues, Record Store Day will be celebrating a kind of “Record Store Drops” reminder date on June 18. James, and a 1970s remaster color me the country by Linda Martell, the first black woman to play the Grand Ole Opry.
Find the complete list of releases here and at your favorite local record store.