It was a Friday. In June of 2010. Raining. I left Criminal Records with a record player and 1 album. I sat in my apartment with instructions in hand, and fumbled at the task of putting together the record player. I could not put that thing together fast enough. The anticipation of listening to my first album kept a smile on my face. I poured a glass of wine. Pulled out the vinyl and blew on it. Not because it was dusty, but because that’s what you do. Or that’s what I remember doing when I was a kid. Moved the arm of the player. Gentle dropped the needle. Sat down and listened. The snap and crackle of a record player gives me chills. As the first few notes of the song started, I remember smiling. And before you know it, Willie Nelson’s voice filled the room with “Whiskey River”. It was pure joy. My friend, Jillian, stopped by to participate in what has now become “Wine and Vinyls”. She and I played that album over and over again for hours that Friday night. We knew that we needed to do this again. And, I needed to get some additional records.
Months have passed and my record collection is growing. The time spent perusing record stores for great finds is becoming one of my favorite things. There is a quote that says “Record Stores are the Graveyards of musicians”. And I couldn’t agree more. Records were popular at a time when music had to be great. You couldn’t fast forward through to the songs you liked, you listened to an entire side straight through. Today, well, don’t even get me started on today’s musicians…
I never knew that Wine and Vinyls would take off quite like it has. It really is just an excuse to have friends over to keep me company. So, imagine my surprise when two different friends this year requested their own Wine and Vinyls night. The most recent one took place last night, and my heart is still full of joy from all that took place. You see, the record just provides a soundtrack to the evening. To our conversations. If you’re a reader of this space I take up, you know that I value intentional time together, and Wine and Vinyls provides another opportunity for this. And as always, with any background music, a song will come on that you weren’t expecting. A song that makes you stand up and scream. Or sing along to. (Or shout from the bathroom) Or tell a story about what it reminds you of. Or a song that makes you grab the hand of the person next to you and slow dance.
Those are the reasons I love Wine and Vinyls. And those are the reasons I will continue to host Wine and Vinyls.
* Special thanks to Julie and Willie Stanfield who reintroduced me to records as a way of life. To my parents for surprising me with fantastic finds from yard sales and Goodwill stores. To Jillian for being part of the Inaugural Wine and Vinyls. To Lindsay and Jesse for finding a home for my records to live in. They love their crate. To Paul for delivering aforementioned crate. To Jason and Eric for squealing with delight and slowing dancing to Ray. To everyone who has been a part of Wine and Vinyls so far. And to Willie Nelson for being the first album played. Whiskey River will always take me back to that first night.