By Jacob Reese
Since the dawn of the internet one of people’s biggest concerns has been the eradication of physical media. With streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music allowing people to listen to any song whenever they want, it might seem hard for someone to understand the charm and allure of a big shiny disc, but they would be in the minority, as vinyl records have exploded in popularity in the last few years, in no small part to charming local record stores like Riverbend Records.
Riverbend Records, a beautiful record store, is located on 2720 Grovelin St in Godfrey IL, right next to the last Mister Donut shop in the states. The best way to describe the interior of Riverbend Records is “cozy.” From the coffeeshop-esque couch and table that greet you opposite of the entrance to the shiny wood shelves filled to the brim with records of all types, from current pop powerhouses like Billie Eilish to avant-garde cult classics like Mr.Bungle, if you’re into a certain style, chances are they have it.
One of the best parts of Riverbend Records is the incredibly friendly and extremely knowledgeable staff. “Being able to watch a new generation of music lovers experience the joy of a real record store!… That’s what brings me joy here,” said Billy Hurst, professional photographer and owner of Riverbend Records, on what he loves most about his job. Billy is almost always at the front of the store waiting to check customers and excitedly share his love of music with all those that come and visit. Billy has been collecting music since he was a teenager, and at one point in time had upwards of 15,000 albums in his collection. He loves classic rock, metal, and country, expressing his love for artists like Twisted Sister and Garth Brooks. When asked about what the most valuable thing in his collection was, he had this to say. “My copy of Jim Croce’s ‘You Don’t Mess Around With Jim.’ That was my Mom & Dad’s original copy that I remember them playing when I was a kid.”
Unsurprisingly, record stores have become a hit with teens and young adults and people of all ages are frequently seen browsing through all that Riverbend Records has to offer. “The prices are good, and the people are amazing,” said Owen Fahnestock, Lewis and Clark radio broadcasting student and self-proclaimed lover of metal, when asked about why he loves Riverbend Records. Owen has amassed a sizable collection of rock and metal albums thanks largely to Billy’s store. You may find him perusing the metal section and talking with Billy at length about a recent Iron Maiden release or his new found love of Dream Theater.
Like many record stores, Riverbend Records offers a great selection of music at good prices, but more than that, it offers a sense of community and the desire to share with others that comes with the love of music. That’s what makes Riverbend Records special.
So come up around the bend… to Riverbend Records! Open 10AM-7PM on Monday through Saturday and 11AM to 5PM on Sundays.
Official Website: https://riverbendrecords.com/