‘Tis the season for shopping, and we have already begun the 12 days to Christmas countdown. What better way to shop for the music lover in your life than with music-themed gifts from LOCAL shops? In Roanoke, we have oodles of interesting little retail outlets scattered around town. In this article, we focus on just three where you can find unique gifts and quality instruments for those near and dear to your heart.
Right on the Market Square sits a funky little shop, brimming with local arts, craft, music, jewelry, clothing, and more. Described by owner Christy Koren as a hippie general store and psychedelic boutique, Ripple provides an experience for the senses, as well an eclectic range of music and dead-head paraphernalia.
Currently, Ripple’s inventory includes a selection of local music CDs, vinyl, and band merchandise, as well as live music photography from Roger Gupta and Eric Rayburn. Ripple also features a variety of local arts, crafts, and jewelry, plus music related books, including Kirk West‘s “Les Brers,” which captures his 20 years managing the Allman Brothers. “Hippie Chick” and “Fare Thee Well” from photojournalist Jay Blakesberg, and “Dancing with the Dead” from Rosie McGee are also available for purchase.
So, skip the malls and head downtown. There’s a cool vibe, and lots of good loot.
For the guitarists, bassists, and musicians in your life, there is no better place to get some serious gear than Kelley’s Music, located on Brambleton. if you’re looking to get a new player started, Kelley’s carries a full line of acoustic and electric guitar kits for beginners , as well as amplifiers and accessories for more advanced players. Kelley’s also carries the high-end guitars for the seasoned pro and are one of the few USA Gibson brand shops in Virginia. Kelley’s knowledgeable staff can help you find an instrument from their huge selection of major name brands.
In addition to the guitars, Kelley’s also carries pedals, straps, picks, and of course, strings. Come on in and peruse their inventory. Who knows, you may walk away with a guitar for yourself! Don’t we all just want to be rockstars?
The Bazaar, located across the street from Tower’s Shopping Center, is Roanoke’s only independent record store and also a singularly unique retail outlet. While vinyl records are the stores biggest feature, you’ll also discover a little bit of everything at this non-profit store operated by Jamie Booker.
The Bazaar has a good selection of vinyl LPs, new and used CDs, books on music and art, as well as locally made artwork and jewelry. Funds generated from the retail storefront provide space and opportunity for musicians and artists to share their creations with the community. So, you can do your holiday shopping AND know that you are helping to foster artistic expression in our region. What could be a better gift?
Whatever you do, wherever you go, for this gift-buying season, remember that your voice matters, and that you express your values with the purchases you make. We here at Blue Ridge Rocks hope you all have a joyful and music-filled holiday season!