When Hideaway Music owner Brian Reisman first opened his record store in Chestnut Hill nine years ago, he had but one shelf of vinyl albums. Now, vinyl records account for more than half of his inventory, as music aficionados defy the age of downloading and demand the optimal format for their listening experience. And as the the listening habits of audiences and the manner in which musicians release their music on continue to evolve, so has Hideaway Music. Beginning this Sunday, October 30, Hideaway Music will feature acoustic performances from Philadelphia songwriters through December 11. “This is brand new,” says Reisman, 61, a Mount Airy native. “We’ve never done this before.” East Sussex, England-native John Wesley Harding kicks off the live performances this Sunday. Harding relocated from to Philadelphia from Brooklyn more than two years ago, and has lived in Mt. Airy for a year and half. “I got approached by John Wesley Harding and the rest of it all fell into place really fast, with other musicians wanting to sign up,” says Reisman. “He’s got quite a following, and he’s more popular than I realized.” In his more than 20 years as a songwriter, Harding has released 12 full length albums. He’ll perform acoustic solo selections from his most recent album “In His Own Voice”, this Sunday at Hideaway Music. “In His Own Voice” marks Harding’s first album to be released on vinyl in 20 years. He recorded it in Portland in a week, playing each song with his entire supporting back, the King Charles Trio, instead of recording each instrument individually. “What you forget when you’re making [a record] in Pro Tools is how great everything sounds when all the instruments are playing together,” says Harding. “And that way there’s isn’t very much to add afterwards.” Harding compares the styles of his new album to bands like The Kinks, The Zombies and Leonard Cohen. It also features members of the Decemberists and former REM guitarist Peter Buck playing support in the King Charles Trio. Reisman says some of other acts to look out for include The Lux, a rock trio borrowing from 60’s pop with a hard rock edge, who perform on November 13. Then on November 20 is a performance by Soldier On, a band that began as a college bromance and evolved into a workman-like folk duo. On December 4 is Chana Rothman, a Canadian-born songwriter who plays acoustic reggae songs with socially-conscious lyrics sung in English and Hebrew.
For more information on their live music performances, visit hideawaymusic.org.