Central Square Records in Seaside Shares the Passion

July 30, 2021 by SoWal Staff

Central Square Records in Seaside is one of our happy places.

It's a grayt place to sit, work (many a local use the shop as their “office” and the WIFI is free), have a cup of joe, listen to music and talk to genuinely interesting people. Think of it as less shopping experience and more as taking yourself on a creative date.

It’s not a hipster hangout, you don’t feel old if you are over the age of 16 and they don’t sneer at you if you ask about a musician they don’t carry. Oh, and musicians seem to love the place too. Maybe it’s because owner Tom King and Manager Edward Jack are passionate about tunes.

This is the genuine deal. These guys aren’t in Seaside to run a shop; they are in Seaside to inspire. To show people how wonderful music can make you feel. To appreciate and help local musicians reach a broader audience. That’s appreciated by music lovers who love great music but normally only tune into the radio or repeat the same tired CDs for months on end.

Members of the coalition of independent music stores, they participate each year in the National Record Store Day – helping expose local talent to a broader audience through the tie-ins and store promotions. And they carry limited pressed vinyl, which is great for collectors, and for parents who want to share a bit of history (and musical quality) with their kids.

They also seem to hire people who love the store as much as they do. Creative and interesting, this small crew never seems to mind when someone asks to listen to a CD or requests a guitar or amp on special order. If for nothing else, go for the amazing lineup of cool T-shirts that are hot sellers.

You never know who might be jamming in the store. One grayt gig featured Shawn Mullins and Nicole Witt during the inaugural 30A Songwriters Festival. The two musicians answered questions from the crowd about the writing life and their personal songwriting experiences and tales. And then the two belted out melodies. There’s just no topping that. And the artists were having fun too. They were genuinely pleased at the authentic appreciation for their music and albums.

Tom and Ed seemed equally impressed with the live shows, and it seems to be a facet of the store they love as avid supporters of local musicians - keep your eye on the SoWal Live Music Calendar for gigs.

A bonus is the front porch with one of the best views of Seaside. If you’ve never been, do yourself a favor and sit for a while on the front porch, soak up the music and watch the activities of the town unfold below you. 


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