At first glance, there seems little that sets Lakeland Music apart from other full-line music stores. Tucked away on Lakeland Drive on the fringe of the bustling Flowood retail corridor in a nondescript gray building, if not for the words “Lakeland Music” on the front of the building, it can be easily overlooked.
Inside, it’s much the same. Rows and rows of new guitars, bass guitars, drums and pro audio equipment line Lakeland Music’s walls, and the atmosphere is surprisingly laid back for a company in the business of creating and amplifying sound. Neat, but nothing of real note there.
However, Lakeland Music does offer something special, and it, too, is tucked away. Housed in a backroom and invisible to the average Lakeland Music visitor is a veritable treasure trove of vintage guitars, an inventory that routinely draws customers who run the gamut from local musicians to high-end investors and some of the most prominent guitarists in the world.
“We have had Damon Johnson (Thin Lizzy, Alice Cooper) and Martin Barre (Jethro Tull) in the store,” said Keith Gin, a Lakeland Music technician. “Keith Richards (Rolling Stones) has never come in, but we have done business with him.
“Most of the customers for our vintage guitars know what they want, and they want to play them, but we get a dozen or so people every month who are simply investors. They buy with the hopes that the guitar will appreciate in value. But, most are guitarists looking for something special to play.”
The company’s lineup changes daily, but shoppers are almost certainly going to find something of interest in the room of oldies. A current sampling includes a 1981 Gibson ES-355 and a 1937 Epiphone archtop acoustic.
“That backroom can be special,” Ginn quipped.
One customer wrote on Lakeland Music’s Facebook page, “One of the few places left in the Jackson area with a real world knowledge of vintage instruments…and priced to move, not inflated to retain for conversation pieces like the typical pawn shop.”
While its vintage instruments make it unique, Lakeland Music offers new equipment. According to Ginn, it is the biggest seller of Taylor guitars in the state. One gem available at Lakeland Music is the Taylor k24ce Koa. As its name implies, the acoustic guitar is made from acacia koa, an exotic wood that only grows in Hawaii.
In addition to Taylor, Lakeland Music carries Fender and Ibanez guitars; Fender and Ibanez bass guitars; amplifiers; DW (Drum Workshop), Pacific and Tama drums; Yamaha audio equipment; and accessories.
Also, Lakeland offers stage, audio and lighting rentals; service/repairs; and guitar, bass and drum lessons led by instructors, most of whom have more than 20 years of playing experience.
Lakeland Music is owned by Mark Hale, who once also owned Pro Concert in Tupelo. The greater Jackson store opened as Magnolia Music on Old Canton Road. The name was changed to Lakeland Music when the business relocated to Lakeland Drive in 2001.
Lakeland Music is located at 5200 Mississippi Highway 25 (Lakeland Drive). The phone number is (601) 992-0089.
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