August 20, 2017

Joe’s Albums helps lead resurgence of vinyl and retail on Main Street

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Joe's Albums

Art Simas / For Worcester Sun

Joe's Albums on Main Street is serving a market for vinyl records and is among the retailers finding success on Main Street.

Joe Demers, owner of Joe’s Albums at 317 Main St., has chosen to follow the adage generally attributed to Confucius: “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”

With apologies to Mr. Hendrix, if you want to be “Experienced,” head to the former WRTA headquarters near Mechanics Hall and enter the room of vinyl. Strike up a conversation with Joe and you, too, shall be immersed in the art of sound, texture and warmth, found in those long-lost scratchy treasures, now reborn as newfound friends.

Demers has been a big music fan since he received his first all-in-one “stereo” when he was 6 years old.

“For people who truly want to listen, vinyl is a high quality sound. I believe that people who listen to records are ‘active’ listeners, because you have to physically take it out, manually place it on the turntable, then take it off, too. You are much more attached to it. … It’s a tangible experience and I think that plays a big part.”

But kids grow up to be teens, life gets in the way and the “stereo” is shuttered away to a dark corner of the house.

“For about 20 years, I never listened to my records, which were stored in the basement. By that time, I was listening to music on CDs, iPods and MP3 players,” he said.

About eight years ago during the winter, he decided to revisit his dusty childhood friend and the amazingly still-preserved albums.

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