Sweet Picks for Record Store Day

Shawn Colvin & Steve Earle release the RSD special 7" Wake up Little Susie/Baby's in Black

When I was a kid, the place was called Spec's Music -- a chain store that sat at the far corner of a WalMart shopping center. My development as a musician and music fan could be traced by the albums I bought at Spec's -- from my earliest purchases of bubble gum pop music to when I started reaching outside of my comfort zone toward bands like Midnight Oil (via a recommendation from the Spec's staff) and Jane's Addiction (via a recommendation from my sister), to my discovery of riot grrrls and eventually folksingers like Dar Williams and Ani DiFranco. Spec's music isn't there anymore, but its salespeople live in my memory as some of the most influential tastemakers from my life. 

I share this little vignette because Record Store Day is upon us again -- that semi-annual reminder that there's value in heading to your local bricks-and-mortar record store to purchase vinyl, especially, but really anything at all. For some, the nearest record store is a couple hours away these days; others are blessed with incredible mainstays that are widely supported by local and traveling music fans alike.

Where I live, in Asheville, North Carolina, we have Harvest Records. Shortly after I moved to town, Harvest bucked the trend of downward slope for record shops and expanded into the neighboring store front, effectively doubling their space. Their collection is exhaustive, making it an excellent destination for music fan tourists who might be in town to catch a band or just to see the leaves on the parkway. 

If I can wrangle the toddler long enough to make it out to Record Store Day this weekend, Harvest is where I'll land, and I'll be looking for these RSD special releases (the full list is at the RSD website): 

Shawn Colvin & Steve Earle
"Wake Up Little Susie" / "Baby's In Black" (7" vinyl)

Johnny Cash
All Aboard the Blue Train with Johnny Cash (LP)

Blitzen Trapper 
Field Rexx (LP)

Brandi Carlile
Live At KCRW 'Morning Becomes Eclectic (12" colored vinyl)

Jay Farrar
Sebastopol/thirdshiftgrottoslack (2LP)

Son Volt
Live At The Bottom Line (2LP)

Alejandro Escovedo
Thirteen Years (2 x LP)

Emmylou Harris
Wrecking Ball Deluxe Vinyl Version (3LP)

Langhorne Slim & The Law
Live at Grimey's (CD)

Madisen Ward and The Mama Bear
Live At Grimey's (12" vinyl)

Lucinda Williams
Just A Little More Faith And Grace (12" vinyl)

Now I'll turn it over to you, to tell us what you'll be looking for (and what you found). 

I rarely buy anything new. I look for old blues, jazz and the odd world music (see here). I will be heading to In The Groove, a great little vinyl store in Oxfordshire, in the country outside London.