Meadowood Music Acoustics are Unique
By Megan Mantz , The Patriot, Page 12, 6/15/2000
The Meadowood Music store in Kutztown offers a unique opportunity to residents. It provides national talent, by offering both a guitar clinic and a concert clinic series. On June 22, Grammy mominee Robin Bullock, who toured with the acclaimed River Dance Company, will perform at Godfrey Daniels in Bethlehem from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. He will also give a clinic at Meadowood Music on June 24 from 10 a.m. to noon.
Another unique aspect of the store is the fact that it hosts open Bluegrass jams from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. every Tuesday evening. Musicians from the area (and some who come from as far away as Baltimore) perform. Beginners as well as professionals come to the store to play.
Meadowood Music, which is new to the Kutztown area, is located at 233 West Main Street.
According to Paula Taylor, who owns the store with husband, Mike Andrews, "our focus is acoustic string instruments. We have guitars, mandolins, banjos, violins and basses."
In preparation for opening a music store, both Paula and Mike visited 50 music stores to see what they liked and did not like about each business. "We spent five years researching what to put into our music store," said Paula.
In the end, the store that influenced Paula and Mike the most was the Baltimore Bluegrass store. "The owner of the store was a mentor to us," said Paula.
Meadowood Music sells almost all solid-wood instruments, which are of high quality. As wood instruments age, they become more flexible and produce a better sound.
"The suppliers that we chose were more concerned with the instruments, and not just with the bottom line," said Paula.
The store also offers instrument lessons for the bass, guitar, banjo and mandolin (there are referrals for other instruments). Meadowood Music has six teachers, including four who are private instructors. Paula gives upright bass lessons, and Mike gives mandolin lessons.
"Dean Smith, who is one of our teachers, is a guitarist, singer and songwriter. He has two CDs," said Paula Taylor. "His songs are especially popular in New Zealand and Indonesia."
In addition, Mike does instrument repairs at the store. He is currently repairing violins from the early 1800s. "I restore (the instruments) to a playing condition," said Mike.
Paula got into music almost 25 years ago as a student at Brandywine Heights Area School District. Keith Brintzenhoff, the owner of PA Dutch and Hobbies Store, sponsored the club.
"I started playing the guitar at the age of 12. I learned how to play the guitar with friends. I got serious about (music) eight years ago," she said.
In 1994, Paula performed in a trio called Imaginary Friends in Baltimore. It was through this trio that she met Mike. He was learning mandolin at that time.
"We started playing as a duo then. I met Butch Imhoff and played for him in Reading. We got acquainted with the music community through him."
Since Paula had roots in Berks County, she decided to move back to the area. She said that there were not a lot of music stores in the area.