PUTNEY — A retired teacher has turned his love of music into a new business in downtown Putney.
Next Chapter Records, which offers new and used vinyl records, is now open at 120 Main St. in the former home of Antidote Books, which moved to Brattleboro earlier this year.
The store is run by Mitch Harrison, a 56-year-old native of northern New Jersey. For the past 20 years, he's been teaching science to middle schoolers in Alstead, N.H.
Now retired, Harrison said he has already seen a positive response from a couple of “soft openings” on Saturdays earlier this month.
In his youth, he said, he frequented record shops with friends, and hosted a radio show during his days at Rutgers University. Nowadays, he still goes to live music events and festivals.
His taste lies with music that “blurs the line,” whose exact genre is difficult to describe.
“I've always had an interest in sharing music with people and introducing music to people, and the joy that music can bring out,” Harrison said.
He spoke about how the current resurgence of vinyl provides a good opportunity for him to shine light on underappreciated or overlooked acts, as well as further spreading the enjoyment of music offered on a physical medium.
“People are again appreciating tangible music and how it can be a very different experience,” he said.
Harrison spoke of about the physicality of the disc and the look and feel of its cover, as well as the experience of the needle touching down and lying on the vinyl.
He said Putney proved the best location for this store after some searching, especially its local music scene, and the store's central location that's not far from Next Stage Arts.
“I think it's a great community,” he said. “I wanted to be in a small downtown area, and this one really appealed to me because of its proximity to other small businesses.”
He also said there's some good crossover with these local businesses, saying his shop will likely appeal to some of the same people who shop at Swirl, the vintage clothing and collectables store just down the street.
Harrison says he is open to buying from others, although he added that he has to be selective while still making sure to keep his eye out for new records and diversifying his inventory.