It’s barely 7 am on a chilly spring morning. A line of people dots the sidewalk of an empty shopping mall in anticipation of Record Store Day. We stand and wait for two more hours, all-knowing the slim chances and unlikely outcome of actually getting all the specialty records on our lists. Eventually, they move the line inside the building, and we plant ourselves in front of Hard Copies, counting down the minutes until the doors open.
Record Store Day (RSD for short) started in 2007 as a way for music fanatics and independent record shops to celebrate all across the country. Some stores have live music all day long, meet and greets with artists, food, contests, and more. Exclusive releases are made specifically available for that day - most created in limited quantities. The announcement of the list of titles is almost as exciting as the day itself.
“The List” is revealed weeks ahead and allows plenty of time for planning. I had three exclusive releases that I wanted for my collection, so I contacted dozens of stores to see if they would be carrying them. Hard Copies had the majority, so my early-morning jaunt to Evansville was set.
It’s intoxicating, but an under-control semi-chaotic scene when they open the doors. I scan the racks of 7” singles and immediately spotted The Mavericks and Sweet Lizzy Project - that’s one off my list. The entire wall popped with RSD releases. Quickly walking and eyeing all the records while trying to navigate my way through the crowd, I found one of two copies of LeAnn Rimes’s “Live at Gruene Hall” vinyl. Two down. Maybe it was the dark cover art, but it took me a few more rounds to realize that the coveted Kip Moore album that I had been searching for was right in front of me the entire time. Mission accomplished.
It’s a rush that only lasts less than a couple of minutes. You have to be fast, and you have to be courteous, which everyone was. While waiting for my purchases to be ringed up, shoppers would congratulate others, even if it was a record they wanted for themselves. It’s a spirited day that allows people with differing interests and tastes to come together to share the love of vinyl.
I could give endless praise to the great staff at Hard Copies. They responded lightning fast to all my questions early in the week via Facebook. I’m all about my country world, and this is the place to visit if you are in search of obscure, out-of-print CD titles from the 90s. Not everything is readily available via streaming platforms and a lot of it ends up being remastered or re-recorded by the artists, so it’s like a treasure chest finding the original stuff.
Sweet, Sweet Fantasy Baby
I took a post-record shopping break at Parlor Doughnuts, a new addition to Evansville’s vibrant and growing downtown. The line was packed to the door and was worth the not-so-long wait. I was impressed with the staff’s efficiency and friendly service.
While waiting, I gazed over the list of decadent doughnut selections. I decided on the Chocolate Chocolate…because what’s better than chocolate? More chocolate.
The doughnut itself was gigantic. The best one I’ve ever tasted. Subsequent visits are highly recommended/needed.
Across the street, I stopped at River City Coffee + Goods, an eclectic shop comprised of locally created goods. I can never pass up a brand new journal, so I grabbed that along with a cold-pressed organic juice that’s made right here in Evansville, it’s crazy delicious.
Plan Your Visit
Hard Copies - 800 North Green River Road, Evansville, IN
Doughnut Parlor - 12 NW 3rd Street, Evansville, IN
River City Coffee + Goods - 223 Main Street, Evansville, IN
For more places to stay + shop, check out VisitEvansville.com.