Marking a Milestone
celebrates 25 years
with Crawdaddy Music
store offers new and
used instruments, and music lessons
Lela Jane Bradshaw
(December 2012) Whether you are looking to
upgrade from a beat up banjo, or looking for a vintage guitar from a
master craftsman, or have just always wondered what a ukulele sounds
like in person, Crawdaddy Music is the place to go.
For owner Rob Houze, music has been part of his life since he was a
child. Ive always loved instruments, he says. Ive
played all my life, and Im 60 years old. I started playing gigs
when I was 10.
He followed up on his youthful talent and went on to study music at
Berkeley and in Boston. In Boston he worked in a music store where he
gained business experience buying and selling instruments. He brought
this experience back to Madison, Ind., and began offering quality new
and used instruments, repairs and lessons at his own store, located
at 130 E. Main St.
by Patti Watson
and Rob Houze on
Nov. 18 marked 25 years in
business for Crawdaddy
Music in Madison.
New or old or used, I kind of buy what I like,
he says. I believe in my product. That makes it easier rather
that just selling what they send me.
On Nov. 18, Crawdaddy Music celebrated its 25th year of business in
Madison with on open house welcoming old and new customers to celebrate
a quarter century of success. As he reflects on the past years of business,
Houze notes that Theres been lots of changes, mostly due
to the Internet.
He also laughs, saying that the other big change has been the size of
his store, which started out as one room on the top floor and over time
growing to take over all the upstairs and downstairs space. Houze points
to location as a part of the key to the stores success saying,
Were centrally located, and that allows him to draw
customers from Louisville, Cincinnati and Indianapolis.
While the store offers new instruments, many customers are looking for
items that have stood the test of time and have proven themselves in
the hands of other musicians.
Ive always sold vintage instruments. Theyve gotten
stronger as time goes on, says Houze. The instruments made
in the 40s, 50s and 60s were great instruments,
he says. He notes that buyers appreciate the craftsmanship that can
be found in the older pieces but also explains that there is a demand
for exotic woods that are no longer available in instruments being produced
today due to increasing regulation and deforestation.
For those looking for a true antique, Houze offers, I have a violin
thats 200 years old and also has some guitars and bass fiddles
from the 1800s.
Houze prides himself on catering to musicians of all levels, whether
they are picking up an instrument for the first time or are looking
for something to play on their next album. Ive sold instruments
to some famous people over the years, he says.
Some of his customers have included the Kingston Trio and Dennis Crouch,
who plays with Vince Gill in the Time Jumpers. He is also pleased that
some of his instruments have wound up in the hands of musicians who
play on riverboats.
For those who are new to music, the store offers lessons so that you
arent left trying to figure out your brand new guitar on your
own. In addition to piano and violin lessons, customers can also receive
training on slightly more unusual instruments, such as cellos or ukuleles.
Amy Vaughn said she first met Houze when she was a kid and
today teaches piano lessons at his store. She recalls that a guitar
from Crawdaddy Music was a special graduation present her senior year.
Vaughn cites the fact that the store carries hard to find instruments
as well as lessons as part of what makes the business so special.
Vaughn says its important that at Crawdaddy Music customers are
not merely sold an instrument and sent on their way. I think it
builds a strong community to offers lessons.
She says Houze himself is a key to the stores success, adding,
He has a really strong foundation for music and that he
can play almost all of the instruments that he carries.
While Houze works hard helping others discover and expand their own
musical talents, he has remained active himself in the Madison musical
scene. Ive been playing in the Hanover College Community
Orchestra for going on 20 years.
He also heads up the Rob Houze Jazz Quartet, which can be found enlivening
many Madison events and will ring in the New Year at Joeygs Restaurant
& Nightclub on Madisons Main Street.
For those thinking of picking up an instrument, Houze encourages then
to stop by and see about lessons.
As soon as your start playing, you are better than the person
who never tried, he says. Enjoy the journey!
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