Business to meet the needs of local musicians

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Crazy Mule Music's large assortment of instruments and wide selection of musical accessories will likely meet the needs of many local musicians. The business, which is located at the intersection of Highway 37 and 90 in Washburn, was opened by Boyd and Cheryl Stogdill on Dec. 11.

"My husband and son (Jake) have a bluegrass band called Crazy Mule," said Cheryl. "We have always wanted to own a music store. This year, I talked my husband into opening one here."

Crazy Mule Music sells electric and acoustic guitars, mandolins, banjos, bass guitars and other instruments. The business also offers a wide selection of music accessories, including strings, capos and harmonicas, and some instrument repairs.

"We can do special orders for people," said Cheryl. "We ordered a special microphone stand for a church just the other day. We have it set up where we can have items shipped here in just a few days."

The business also offers electric and acoustic guitar, mandolin, banjo, upright bass and Dobro lessons.

"So many people around here don't have anywhere local to go to receive lessons," said Cheryl. "Many people drive to Aurora, Monett or farther. We wanted to offer something for them closer."

In addition to music lessons, Crazy Mule Music offers jam sessions several times each month. The sessions give new and veteran musicians an opportunity to come to the store and play with other members of the local community.

"We have people come in and jam all the time," said Cheryl. "Dean Webb's band came in one weekend, and we had a big picking. We welcome anyone to come down and jam. We enjoy meeting other musicians.

"When the weather warms up, we will have outdoor jamming sessions once a month," said Cheryl. "We also plan to have music workshops where people who are learning to play can come and play and learn from a group of musicians."

Musicians who participate in the jam sessions or music workshops will likely be playing with Crazy Mule band members Boyd and Jake Stogdill, Jeremy Krause and Shawn Hollingsworth. Fans of the local bluegrass band should also stop by Crazy Mule Music to check out the business' music selection. The store carries Crazy Mule CDs and DVDs and CDs by the Dillards, which Webb previously performed with.

"We are going to be getting in other bluegrass music, so people should check back later in the spring to see what we have," said Cheryl. "It has taken a lot to just get this business up and running and the store stocked since we started on Nov. 3. There was a lot of work to do."

The Stogdills placed the new music store in the building that formerly housed the Washburn Flower Station. Over the last month, the couple has renovated the interior and exterior of the building and placed a new creative sign on the front of the building.

"We also own Southwest Litter, which is located on the end of Main Street (in Washburn)," said Cheryl. "We knew that wouldn't be a good place for a music store. It is all about location, location, location for this type of business.

"People drive by on Highway 37 all day long," said Cheryl. "There is a lot of traffic passing by this business. We knew we needed to be seen, and this building had been empty for several months so we decided this would be a good location for us."

The Stogdills invite all Barry County residents to visit the new music store. Music lessons are being booked quickly, so individuals interested in learning a new instrument should call 826-5080 or stop by the store to schedule an appointment, said Cheryl.

Crazy Mule Music is open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Jam session schedules will be released in the spring of 2010.