It’s no secret that Austin is the Live Music Capital of the World.
Since 1991 it was established that Austin, Texas has more music venues per capita than anywhere else in the nation. Even more music-themed events are held here including South by Southwest, Austin City Limits Music Festival, Fun Fun Fun Fest and Psych Fest, to name a few.
Needless to say, this town loves its music.
So many audiophiles live in and around Austin that even the vinyl resurgence has made an appearance here. To see the evidence, look squarely at the numerous up-and-coming record shops that have made Austin home. Just when it seemed like analog music was going to disappear forever in the wake of digital technology, a community of collectors and records sellers sprang up to the vinyl challenge.
If you’ve been around the Oasis on Lake Travis in the last few weeks, you may have noticed some changes happening around the lakefront spot. Follow the music up to the second floor to Groovers’ Paradise, the newest in vinyl dream collections to greet the Lake Travis area.
The store, which opened April 8th, is a labor of love run by shop owner Greg Ellis, who combines his decades of experience in the music industry to bring you the finest and rarest in record finds — like Rodriguez, Van Morrison, 13 Floor Elevators and the Beatles.
A Life Centered Around Music
To say that Ellis is a fan of music is so much of an understatement; from the moment you meet him he’s talking tunes. Greg has worked in and around music since he was 14 years old, first at a record store, then on the distribution side, before he made a return to record shops, this time as owner and operator.
After a few minutes catching up about past music festivals in Austin, he turns the attention to my music preferences and asks what’s my favorite album in the store. And as much as he likes to talk about music, he likes to learn about music, all kinds, which is a huge benefit to shoppers with questions when they visit the store.
“I want people to come in, I want to engage everybody that comes in. Because when you’re talking about a record store, that’s all you’re selling now.”
And that’s one of the charms about record stores, he mentions, as we talk about how the life of the music industry has changed over the years, and how the fundamental relationships a customer can forge with music through their local record store.
When the world of e-commerce is at your fingertips, what brings a music lover into a physical record store these days?
Besides being able to actually come into contact with the media, you can ask an employee their recommendations about an album, or maybe swap some music knowledge while you make your purchases. It’s these small details that make big differences in the experience of music itself, something internet shopping has yet to offer.
“They can do all that but they can’t come in and ask the guy behind the counter which Paul McCartney record is best … if you come in here you’re gonna talk about music and you’re going to get engaged — I’ll leave you alone while you’re digging through — but when you bring it up here we’re gonna talk about what you’re gonna buy. And that’s what keeps me coming to work. I like doing that, I like talking about music, I like being that guy, and I hope people in the store appreciate that.”
The gregarious shop runner would like to see a sort of music-centered Lake Travis community develop at Groovers’ Paradise, starting with their Grand Opening on June 27th this summer. You can look forward to a collection of local bands, possibly an appearance from OTXBC brews and a whole host of rare vinyl finds from all eras of music.
At Home on Lake Travis
While Ellis has called a number of places home in his years, including Mississippi, Houston and San Marcos, he’s happy being back in Austin and on Lake Travis these days. The decision to open shop at the Oasis wasn’t a difficult one and Groovers’ Paradise has been receiving a warm reception since their first day. He’s on a mission to keep the weirdness in the Lake Travis area, and maybe even get you to tune in to a new band or two.
In case you don’t recognize the name, Groovers’ Paradise is an homage to the 1994 album release by Doug Sahm, a local Texas legend and one of Ellis’ favorite bands since the very beginning. After weeks of brainstorming names for the store, the name came to him in a mid-morning dream and has been bringing the store good vibes ever since.
Groovers’ Paradise buys and sells albums, so stop in the next time you’re at the Oasis and be sure to bring a few of your old records to trade in if you have been wanting to see how much they’re worth now.
Wednesday – Sunday: 12:00pm – 9:00pm