A Holiday Gift Guide for Music Lovers

Gary Clark Jr.'s newest set, Blak and Blu, and five other albums by local artists.
Buy the blues lover on your gift list Gark Clark Jr.’s new album, Blak and Blu. Photograph by Frank Maddocks

The holiday shopping season is here and with it comes a rise in the practice of “showrooming,” where customers head to traditional stores to research gift ideas before buying the product from an online retailer, often at a cheaper price.

It sounds like another trend story documenting the dominance of e-commerce, but record shops have long been causalities of Internet shopping, first from the rise of digital downloads and later with the popularity of all-you-can-eat subscription services like Spotify.

One of the ways record stores—particularly small, independent shops—have maintained loyal foot traffic is by supporting sales of locally produced music. Admirers of homegrown talent know a visit to the neighborhood record store is still one of the best ways to tap into their community’s music scene—and possibly offer a chance to run into a local artist who is hand-delivering albums to the shop.

We asked representatives from three independent record stores in Texas to recommend recent releases from local artists.


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