Written by Julia DuBois
Photos taken by Preston Valles
Since opening in November of 2021, Jam Session Record Shop has already established quite the presence in the music scene of Boise. With the shop’s location being on Main Street, just outside of Downtown, this store is welcoming to everyone. If you’re looking for rock music–they’ve got it. If you’re looking for jazz–they’ve got it. If you’re looking for something old–they’ve got it. If you’re looking for something new–once again, they’ve got it. Essentially, no matter what you’re looking for, it’s likely that you’ll find it at Jam Session Record Shop.
After closing his previous store on Broadway–Record World–the shop’s owner, Jesse, decided to take a small break from the record store business, then start fresh again with his new store Jam Session. With a new name, new location, and new perspective, Jesse was able to create a unique and fresh shopping experience. However, running a record store is not just all fun and games, instead it comes with its own set of challenges as well.
Ever since the Apollo Masters fire that burned down a major record manufacturing plant in February of 2020, the production of vinyl records has significantly slowed down. This means that the supply of records has faced a major shortage, causing record stores to have a difficult time keeping their shelves stocked with the latest albums. However, Jesse has continued to find a way through this by keeping his eye on a variety of online platforms, as well as buying records off of shoppers who bring in their own collections. Despite these challenges, the store still has a wide selection of all types of music.
Jam Session’s focus is not only on selling music, but bringing it in as well. Jesse has established a focus on highlighting local bands and making it a point to promote them when possible. Whether that be through selling their music, hanging up show posters, or by hyping them up through word of mouth, his goal is to advocate for all of the talent that Boise has to offer. Multiple times throughout our conversation with him, he mentioned how he is continually surprised by all of the skills that the up and coming bands in town exhibit. The future looks bright for Boise’s music scene, and Jesse is here for it. Hopefully, in Jam Session’s not too distant future, the shop will have their own in-store performances where bands will be able to come in and play sets of their own. As the store continues to grow, mirroring the scene of local music, new opportunities such as these will present themselves in a variety of exciting ways.
So, when the need for music strikes, add Jam Session to your list of shops to explore because you never know what you may find. Also, a word of advice coming directly from the owner himself, don’t forget to dig through the boxes of 99 cent records; from time to time, there might just be a special hidden gem waiting to be found by those committed enough to search…