by Chibo Acevedo
Over the past year musicians in Nederland have noticed a slight ease of stress. I couldn’t count how many times I’ve seen a guy or gal hustling all over the bar asking everybody they can think of if they have any extra strings, a drum key, a mic cable, a saxophone reed, or any number of other little musical necessities that tend to creep up at a gig. That ease came with the opening of Brightwood Musicright on the northwest corner of town next to the bus stop. In the past, there was no place to go but down into the bubble for these types of things, and forget it if it’s after 9 p.m., even down in Boulder.
Open seven days a week, Brightwood Music now offers Nederland a variety of services for local, traveling, and budding musicians of all styles and levels. If it’s past closing time and you are lucky enough to run into Brightwood’s owner, Doug Armitage, more often than not he’ll offer to go over there and help you out on the spot. They have a full line of electric and acoustic guitars for sale, fiddles, mandolins, basses, accessories like pics, sticks, harmonicas, and more.
Brightwood Music has a relaxed ,small town atmosphere. Proprietor, in-house luthier, and all around good guy Doug Armitage, takes a personal tone with every customer no matter how big or small. Armitage grew up in these mountains, and he and his family still live in the old mining town of Cardinal, right down the road. Not only is Brightwood a distributor of many of today’s top names in stringed instruments, but they also specialize in set up, repair, and customization of any brand of stringed instruments for the professional musician as well as the casual player. Another allure for the local budding musician is the fact that some of the best local musicians also teach regularly there. (http://brightwoodmusic.net for teacher listings/ lesson hours/ etc.).
Since opening the Nederland Store, Armitage has also immersed himself in the local scene as a player. He leads the “pick” at Whistler’s Cafe every Wednesday evening (9 p.m. to midnight-ish), playing any number of stringed instruments, including the big “double-bass,” and will always sing his fair share. Armitage started in the musical instrument business working at Folk Arts Music in Boulder in 1973 after working for OME Banjos from 1970 to 1973. He went on to open a luthier shop in Port Angeles, Washington, then moved on to become production engineer for Oscar Schmidt, and later imported, distributed, and installed many types of commercial woodworking machines for a wide variety of custom woodworking shops all over the country. You could say he knows his wood. He’s quickly developed a trustworthy reputation, which is visible from the number local professionals one might see on any visit to the store, or the way he interacts in the local scene.
Not only has this been a welcome contribution to the musi-culture of Nederland, but now Armitage has opened another store to serve another mountain paradise. The new store is located in Lyons at 138 Main Street, and will celebrate its grand opening Saturday, May 14, beginning at noon. Brightwood Music in Lyons will offer all the same value, personal attention, service, and reliability as it has maintained in Nederland since the first store opened its doors. If you live in Lyons, come down and check out our opening day extravaganza! For more information about Brightwood Music, go to http://brightwoodmusic.net.