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Vintage Music has new owners; Vibe remains much the same

January 5, 2019

Vintage Music in downtown Aiken has new owners, but its atmosphere hasn’t changed much.

“It’s still a place where a lot of local musicians come and kind of just hang out,” Shawn Woodward said. “There are a lot of impromptu little jam sessions. People get to know each other, and a lot of connections are made.”

Shawn and his wife, Sally, who are Aiken residents, finalized the deal to purchase Vintage Music from Bill Bentley late last year.

Right before that happened officially on Dec. 1, the store moved from 320 Park Ave. to 318 Park Ave.

“The store is back in the building where it was when it first opened,” said Shawn, who plays guitar and sings. “It’s a better spot because there is more square footage, and it just has a better visual appeal in general. There’s also the nostalgia of taking it back to where it started, which I like.”

Ed Girardeau, who is an Aiken City Council member, and John Davis established Vintage Music in 2005 at 320 Park Ave. upstairs. The store later moved downstairs.

For a time, Shawn’s late father, Andy Woodward, was involved in the management of Vintage Music.

“He was primarily a drummer, and he was very much a part of the local music scene,” said Shawn of his dad. “He was the one who kind of started the whole idea of the store being a place for local musicians to come and interact with each other.”

Shawn described Bentley, who had owned Vintage Music since 2014, as “pretty much a lifelong friend.”

Bentley’s desire to make a change in his lifestyle opened the door for the Woodwards to purchase Vintage Music.

“He was floating around the idea of wanting to retire,” Shawn said. “When that came up, my wife and I started talking about it and decided to buy the business from him because we didn’t want to let it just dissolve. It was the only music store in town, and we didn’t want to lose that resource.”

Vintage Music sells new and used musical instruments, sheet music, amplifiers and accessories such as reeds, guitar picks and capos.

In addition, the store offers music lessons.

“We also do servicing on instruments and things like that,” Shawn said.

Vintage Music’s operating hours are from noon to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

“Bill Bentley is working for us part-time,” Shawn said. “He eventually is going to taper that down into full retirement. He is kind of easing into it.”

For more information about Vintage Music, visit the Vintage Music Store page on Facebook or call 803-226-0149.

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