Shop Local: Hermitage Record Store Boasts Varied Inventory

HERMITAGE, Pa. – Melusina Records is a small store with a mighty selection.

Owner Martina Holliday and her husband, Brock Schaller, can chat with customers about any musical genre from any era.

“We buy, sell and trade records, all types: rock, jazz, funk, pop, punk, metal,” Holliday says.

Schaller describes his typical customer as someone who likes good music. He and Holliday try to know about all of the records and the artists in the store.

“That’s what makes it fun,” Holliday says. “You learn something every day.”

She learns about artists she may be unfamiliar with from customers who sell their collections.

When someone comes in to sell a collection from an estate or found in a house he bought, Holliday tries to learn something about the person who owned them. She shares that information with customers.

“A lot of our customers have become our friends,” she says.

They sell new releases too.

The store, at 2921 E. State St., Hermitage, Pa., is a Record Store Day Pledge store. Record Store Day was started in 2007 to celebrate independent record stores. It’s observed annually in April and special titles are released on vinyl that day and on Black Friday.

By signing the pledge, owners agree to act in the spirit of the Day and sell Record Store Day releases to their physical customers and not to hold the releases back to sell online.

As vinyl has regained popularity in recent years, it’s no longer just collectors and musical purists who want to buy it. Younger people are discovering it too.

“You have to give Taylor Swift some credit,” Holliday says. “She was a record store ambassador. She has given us a few Record Store Day releases and it’s really cool to see young girls start to get into vinyl.”

She and Schaller are vinyl devotees.

“It forces you to sit down and listen to a body of work the way the artist intended you to do it,” Holliday says.

Albums have concepts behind them with artwork, liner notes and inner sleeve art, she says. It requires the listener to be more engaged.

“The world is so fast now and there’s instant gratification with almost everything,” Schaller adds. “Listening to a record lets you sit down and process an entire piece of work.”

Pictured at top: Martina Holliday and Brock Schaller pose inside Melusina Records, a record store in Hermitage, Pa., that’s owned by Holliday.