Guestroom Records
Pictured left to right, Travis Searle, Lisa Foster and Justin Sower.

Not sure how the ear-X-tacy diehards will take the news of nationally renowned record store Guestroom Records adding a branch in the Louisville area at 1806 Frankfort Ave.

But vinyl enthusiasts should be delighted to have a new and successful business model heading to provide the Clifton area with LP’s and CD’s.

Possibly even a few surprise shows? Like when My Morning Jacket used to play ear X-tacy?

Guestroom Records will join the neighborhood in October as co-owners Justin Sowers and Travis Searle are moving one of their Oklahoma City operations to the growing Frankfort Ave. independent business scene.

Guestroom Records has a store in Oklahoma City as well as in Norman, Oklahoma – home of the Oklahoma Sooners.

Why choose Louisville for the now multi-state venture?

First off, Searle’s partner, Lisa Foster provided the Kentucky connection as she attended both Centre College and the University of Kentucky before receiving a Ph.D from the University of Texas in rhetoric and popular music.  Foster will be part of the operation in Louisville … a city the team sees fit for another record store.Guestroom_Logo_Small

“Louisville is a town that has a thriving local business community, a great local music culture, and good community of vinyl purveyors already at work,” said Searle in a press release.

“We are honored to join them and to be in a state that I have long thought of as a second home.”

Guestroom Records is an award winning Alliance of Independent Media Stores member, a group of record stores who strive to provide the best music shopping experience to be had. And where the motto is, “Music is Not a Product.”

The brand was included on Popmatters top record stores of 2012 along with the top independent record store companies such as Reckless Records, Chicago, and Grimey’s New and Pre-Loved Music in Nashville.

The company took home the Oklahoma Gazette’s 2007 “Best New Business” award for its stimulating role with the Oklahoma music scene.  The record store seemingly enjoys getting hands on with the music scene as they are known to sponsor bands and events.

Louisville’s record scene has hung on since the Panera overran the iconic ear-X-tacy in 2011, and some are expanding as Astro Black Records plans to move storefronts into the old Atomic Saucer Coffee House building next to Lisa’s on Oak Street.

But to have a nationally renowned independent record store once again in town will only bode well not only for vinyl lovers, but for the city and region’s bands.

If Guestroom can bring high-end names to town and provide opportunities for demos/EP’s/LP’s to reach high-end hands, then the city’s music scene may finally come back to a boiling point or at least get more of our top acts opportunities to tour.

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Michael Tierney
Michael Hannon Tierney is a writer for InsiderLouisville, various blogs, and does occasional freelance work. The world traveler, and magna cum laude graduate from the University of Kentucky holds degrees in History and Political Science. Tierney also writes, and performs original music time to time...

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