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Vinyl Hunter, Part 6: Portland, Maine

Earlier this month, I was in New England for work. As has become my custom, I scoped out a couple record stores to seek out some vinyl for my collection. I visited two stores in Portland, Maine: Strange Maine and Moody Lords. I walked away with two albums from each store.

Strange Maine had a huge inventory and fairly cheap pricing, mostly specializing in rock, punk and metal. This is your typical crate digger's paradise, with albums crammed tightly into dozens of bins around the store. I picked up two post-"Pet Sounds" Beach Boys albums. But you probably don't care about that.

Moody Lords had a much smaller selection, but it was well-curated and very clean in terms of decor and vinyl condition. The shop also doubles as a vintage clothing store. There, I stumbled upon two nice old-time compilations: "Echoes in the Ozarks, Volume 1: Arkansas String Bands 1927-1930" (1970) and "More Clawhammer Banjo Songs & Tunes from the Mountains" (1969), both released on County Records.

The "More Clawhammer" album is the second of the three-volume collection recorded by the legendary Charlie Faurot, which is still available under the title "Clawhammer Banjo, Volume 2" on CD. The album features banjo greats like Oscar Wright, Fred Cockerham, Matokie Slaughter, Tommy Jarrell and more.

"Echoes in the Ozarks" is a collection old-time bands recorded during the 78-rpm era, featuring the likes of Pope's Arkansas Mountaineers, Morrison Twin Brothers String Band, Ashley's Melody Men and Dutch Coleman & Red Whitehead. I don't know much about these groups, but I look forward to giving them a listen.

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