Taz Records, known as “Atlantic Canada’s largest music store,” is celebrating its 30th anniversary this fall.
“We love being in a city that has supported us for this long,” says Jimmy Donnelly, Taz’s co-owner. “We’re simply an authentic record store. We have a pretty huge selection—I’ve heard people say the best in Canada. I’m not sure I would subscribe to that, but we have tourists from all over who say they’ve never seen a record store like this before.”
On June 15, Taz opened its second location at 1270 Bedford Highway. Donnelly says they had their eye on the location for a while. When it became available they “took that plunge for a second location.” It was also perfect timing, as their downtown Halifax location had recently moved to 1521 Grafton Street.
“We lost a little bit of square footage, so we had all this extra shelving and product that we didn’t have room for,” says Donnelly. “We also felt there’s no one in Bedford offering the products that we offer—the vinyl and CDs, both current and older artists, and brand new turntables, amplifiers and speakers.”
The fact that Taz’s product is now being spread between two stores does not mean the shelves are sparse. Donnelly says they order new music every day, and also buy used recordings. He also notes that the Bedford shop currently carries more turntables than Halifax. “We have some really nice brands in Bedford, like Rega and Music Hall, which are really nice turntables,” he says.
Glenn MacCulloch, who works at the Bedford shop, calls himself a “lifer,” having worked in record shops since he was 18. He is especially impressed with Taz. He loves being able to talk to customers who share a passion for music. “Music is one of the most important things ever,” he says. “I get to listen to music all day long, order music and talk to people about music. What could be better than that?”
MacCulloch says it is especially exciting when someone brings in a box of old records. “There was a gentleman that came in a few weeks ago who had a box with a handle and a little clasp,” he recalls. “He said it was all stuff that had actually been in that box, untouched, since 1968. There were old Beatles’ pressings, a couple of original Stones’ albums…”
“There are so many people in the area coming in and saying that they’re so happy that we opened up out here,” adds MacCulloch. Perhaps the most unique form of approval has come from a couple who, MacCulloch says, were planning on coming to Taz right after their wedding ceremony to take photos.
Donnelly says if someone is looking for something that happens to be in the Halifax shop, Taz can easily deliver it to Bedford. He adds that just like the downtown location, Bedford will host gigs. “Pretty much whenever local acts want to play in-store, we let them!”
This fall, Donnelly also plans on hosting what might just be Taz’s biggest sale to date, in celebration of their 30th anniversary. – Michelle Brunet