By Stephen Livengood – [email protected] – Contributor | April 15, 2015 |
When it comes to music shops, Asheville is in no way lacking. Sprawled throughout the small town are music stores of every shape and size, for every type of musician. But on Patton Avenue, Sherwood’s Music’s bright, white brick building, with classically cool art deco metal bars on the window, sits in a large lot all to itself. And a lot like its location, Sherwood’s sticks out amongst all the music stores in the area.
Sherwood’s Music first opened in October 2011 when Brian Landrum and Michael Sherwood found that their musical repair business had reached a point that it needed its own space.
Landrum met Sherwood years ago through a mutual friend who knew that they both had the idea to open a music store that was, as Landrum says, a little different.
“We like people more than gear,” Landrum said.
What really sets Sherwood’s apart and makes them a little different is their passion for people and vintage guitar equipment.
A primary force behind Sherwood’s passion for customer service is Charles Gately. Anyone who frequents Sherwood’s music undoubtedly knows Gately’s face, as he has been working at Sherwood’s Music for three years.
“I’m not here to try and sell you things, as funny as that sounds. If you come in and we play 12 different combo amps and you leave with a better idea of what you want, awesome,” Gately said.
Gately initially began working at Sherwood’s Music as an intern shortly after the shop opened, but has made himself an invaluable resource as the face customers know.
“It’s helping people, making people happy. That would be the biggest thing — taking care of people,” Gately said.
With the combination of caring for the customers and providing a vast variety of new and used guitar equipment, Sherwood’s Music has become a hot spot for local musicians.
“I sometimes just go in even if I don’t have any money just to look around,” Mark Klepac said.
Klepac is a West Asheville resident, and the lead guitarist for local post-rock band, onj.
“It’s a nice atmosphere and the people there obviously seem to know what they’re doing, and care about what they’re doing,” Klepac said.
Gately said he takes pride in knowing that Sherwood’s Music has something to meet the needs of any guitar player.
“It’s practical. If you’re a guy in a band, you can come in here and we’re going to have something for you. Or if you’re a collector, we will have something for you. Or if you’re going to just record at home or in a studio, that was thought,” Gately said.
While their excellent customer relations show Sherwood’s passion for people, it’s their vintage guitar equipment that portrays their passion for gear. Sherwood’s Music consistently keeps a stock of amplifiers that span over a half a decade in age.
“We have old, cool things, so people bring us old, cool things because then they come here because we have old cool things, and now it’s just sort of in that cycle,” Gately said.
The equipment is not just old, but rare.
“There’s a couple amps out there right now, it’s like, you’re never going to see these again. You can go find the old sales catalog, but to see one in person, it doesn’t happen. They exist because you’re looking at them,” Gately said.
As for the future, while they could not fully disclose, Sherwood’s Music has big plans.
“We have some plans to make it grow,” Landrum said.
The music community of Asheville will just have to wait and see what’s next.