On a recent weekend, there’s a satisfied hush among customers as they browse the collection of vintage vinyl records at Astro Record Shop at 910 Main Street in Bastrop.
Owner and London native Kevin Mawby — better known as “Lippy” to friends and clients alike — is busy on his laptop scouting industry deals. Mawby has just put on the Youngbloods’ 1967 studio album “Earth Music” on the turntable. The store’s double front doors of the historic Kleinert Building are opened onto Main Street on this unseasonably warm afternoon, abuzz with tourists, residents pushing baby strollers with dogs and kids alongside, plus the occasional Harley biker revving his engine.
Banter along with the great finds
What many shoppers say these people savor about Astro Record Store are the verbal exchanges with Mawby on music history and trivia, plus the anticipation of excellent finds among his selection of nearly 10, 000 records. Ken Zarifis, visiting from Austin tx, said he walked across Main Road for their first of many visits to Astro Record after grabbing a bite in order to eat at Maxine’s last year.
“I was just taken by the collection. There are lot of record stores, but there are not a lot of record stores that are really curated like this one. Lippy actually knows what he’s doing. You can’t pull an album out that he doesn’t have some type of understanding about it, ” Zarifis said. “It’s an exchange of ideas and thoughts with Lippy, as well as the financial trade for vinyl. There’s a give plus take with conversation. Today, I got Donald Byrd’s ‘Black Byrd’ recording from 1973. This is where this individual went away from traditional jazz into a really funky groove. ”
Britt Daniel, leader of Austin indie band Spoon, said he found a gem at Astro Record.
“It’s my first time here. I don’t think I’ve been to Bastrop since I was a kid, ” Daniel stated. “My friend who cuts my hair just opened up a shop here. We had walked by Astro Record at first, then she mentioned Lippy and I actually came back. I have been looking for this Bee Gees album ‘Idea’ for over a month. I’ve been to four or five record stores (in the particular Austin area), just kind of casually asking anytime I would go in. ‘Do you have this particular one Bee Gees’ report? ‘ – and I finally got it here today. ”
Haley Redd, from Bastrop, said, “It’s like my second home, it’s so calming to come here, it’s one associated with my favorite things to do. I love the record selection. Today We got ‘The Very Best of Cream. ’ I’m pretty new, I’m still getting into information. I trust Lippy and I know the quality of the records are going to be great every time. Lippy’s definitely an actually cool guy, very friendly. Any record you bring to him, he knows about it plus tells you about this. ”
Mawby says the chats with customers are the particular bread and butter of his report shop.
“You tend to have two different types of people who come in here, people who are interested in learning stuff and there’s people interested in teaching stuff – and sometimes it’s the same person. I adjust my banter accordingly, ” Mawby said. “Before the internet, the situation was, when somebody came into my shop – I’ve been doing this for 35 years – I was the expert. I had and have great general knowledge of what’s in my store. But now with the internet, people come in prepared and they often times know more about the particular stuff they are looking for than I do. I like to learn from them, too. We have fun growing and learning about music. ”
Mawby also enjoys the occasional friendly barb tossed his way from some of their longtime customers. Don Roach is a regular at Astro Record who said he gets a kick out of the eclectic songs selection plus the give-and-take with Mawby.
“Lippy’s got a great selection and the prices are very good. I’m a ’60s and ’70s rock guy and also a big blues individual. I’ve probably bought 40 records here. I’m a huge Eagles fan, and found some very nice first issues here, ” Roach stated. “I shoot the breeze with Lippy a lot – most of the time I don’t understand him. Then there’s his attitude and all that. For a businessman, this individual laughs as well damn much, ” prompting a convulsion of laughter from Mawby. “He most definitely lives up to that name, Lippy. ”
Mawby explained, “Lippy is the nickname that was bestowed upon me as a child. I got the name when I was about 11 in school. Some people thought it was because I had big lips, some thought it was because I talked a lot. ”
Mawby acknowledges the costs that come with venturing into vinyl.
“A friend jokingly asked a customer at the counter recently what attracted her to vinyl fabric — was it the expense or the inconvenience. The truth of the matter is, it’s both, ” Mawby said. “A hard format like the record, and to a lesser degree a CD, makes you invest money, time and effort into the process of listening to it. So you become more involved. You are not just hearing the music, you’re actively participating in listening to it. It’s more immersive in that you can enjoy the cover and reading the liner notes, pulling out a record and putting it on a turntable. ”
While the particular vast majority of Mawby’s record sales are through customer purchases (he also appraises and buys records from them), online ordering will be available at the store’s website, astrorecordstore. com; selections are also featured on Instagram: @astrorecordstore.
London, ‘punk, ’ and the move in order to America
“Music has always sculpted my life plus life’s choices, ” Mawby said. “I caught the very end associated with punk rock in London in 1977, 1978, when I has been 15 and 16 years old. My closest group of high school friends all were sort of punk rockers plus new wave. We saw the Sex Pistols in 1978, ” Mawby said. “My social activities had been the result of me going to hear live music. We didn’t really collect records. I didn’t have cash. My friends would ‘acquire’ information (he laughs). I liked records but the reside music scene was much more exciting for me. ”
A visit to the United States changed his course.
“In 1981, I came to America. I did not know I was going in order to move to The united states. I decided to stay because I fell in love with somebody and with the country at the particular same time, ” Mawby said.
He got the job within New Orleans as a roadie for a touring punk band, the Red Rockers, and later worked in Record Ron’s, a legendary vinyl store in New Orleans. In 1992, he and the partner opened Magic Bus Records, named for the Who song and housed in a repurposed bus in the French Quarter. He later made the move in order to a brick-and-mortar store.
But Hurricane Katrina, which struck New Orleans on Aug. 29, 2005, upended everything.
“Katrina had been difficult due to the fact I lost my friends. My friends scattered, everybody spread, ” Mawby told the particular Bastrop Advertiser in a 2019 interview. His landlord lost all of the girl other properties, forcing her to move into Mawby’s space. A friend in Austin contacted Mawby and he moved there. After a short stint, this individual moved to Cedar Creek and onto Bastrop within 2010.
Mawby worked with regard to nine years with Head Start, an early childhood development program regarding low-income families. In 2019, he opened up his first location associated with Astro Record Store upon Pine Street and relocated to his Main Road location in 2020.
This individual continues in order to be involved in the community, serving on the Music Friendly Committee within collaboration along with the Texas Music Office. A tape Mawby made when he or she first opened in 2019 neatly captures why he hangs their hat in Bastrop.
“I opened the store within Bastrop because this is my home, this is where I actually live. I like this town a lot. It has a vital downtown energy that is usually being dropped in a lot of small towns, yet Bastrop is definitely hanging onto it and doing well. This store is focused on the unusual as well as the interesting, ” Mawby stated, as his customers nod their heads in affirmation.