Mike Bertram, Staff Writer
If you happen to find yourself taking a stroll through Lakeland’s beautiful downtown area, you may notice that yet another new shop has debuted on the streets. Don’t worry, it’s not another food stop. However, it is just as cool as the unique eateries Lakeland offers. Jesse Carl, a brand new record store, has opened its doors to customers and lovers of old, retro and great music. It is sure to help any music buff’s vinyl needs.
The store has a wide selection of classic records available for purchase. They have new and used records, as well as CD’s. The owner, Jesse, also shares a love of music that is very evident when customers walk in the door. She is typically playing some of her own record collection in the store.
Jesse’s initial love of music was nurtured by her parents love for classic hits and artists.
“I grew up on The Eagles, Journey, The Bee Gees and Led Zeppelin. You name it I probably listened to it as a kid,” Jesse remarks.
She began collecting vinyl in high school at a store in Lakeland that unfortunately closed down. In order to get a hold of vinyl, she had to travel to other areas in the Florida such as Tampa or even farther to try and get her hands on the big, black disks. It wasn’t before too long when she decided to trade and sell records. She began by opening her own booth at a local market in Lakeland. Once she realized how much she was making at a small market, she decided to open her own store.
When you walk inside Jesse Carl, you instantly get the feeling you are strolling into a music lover’s business. The passion for music is very evident. Posters of Jesse’s favorite artists cover the walls. People come in not only to purchase records, but also just talk with her about music.
Her collection also has a wide selection of genres and records. Some of the genres include Classic Rock, R&B, Pop, Modern Rock, Country and more. Even movie soundtracks are available for purchase. The main attraction in the store is the vinyl, but CDs are also for sale, with just as much variety in genres as the records. For those just getting into record collecting, there are record players available so anybody can start as soon as they walk in the store.
Vinyl was once thought to be old and outdated not too long ago, but recently vinyl sales have increased tremendously. According to Forbes Magazine, Vinyl sales increased 30 percent in 2015. In Jesse’s opinion, this recent trend is no accident.
“People are starting to realize music sounds better on vinyl,” she says. “The analog sound gives a feeling you just can’t bottle up any other way. There is something fresh and exciting about holding up a record and putting on a turntable yourself.”
Music-loving students are also excited about this new addition to Lakeland. “I have been waiting for a record store this nice in Lakeland for a while. Previously I’ve had to go to St. Petersburg or Tampa to find good vinyl. This will definitely be a good addition to Downtown,” Senior Florida Southern student Pat MacLeod says.
With the recent trend of vinyl, a brand new store, friendly service and a wide collection of records, Jesse Carl is sure stay here in Lakeland for a while. So next time you are taking a walk through downtown, be sure to check out her shop at 308 E Pine Street.