Dusty Groove

Dusty Groove is a Chicago-based online record store specializing in new and vintage jazz, funk, soul, hip-hop, world, rare, collectible, and obscure vinyl records and CDs.[4]

Dusty Groove building at 1120 N Ashland Avenue.
Front entrance to the Dusty Groove Chicago store.
Interior of Dusty Groove on an early weekday.
Unloading boxes of records, CDs, 45s, and 78s following the acquisition of WGN Chicago radio station's music library.

Dusty Groove
IndustryRecord store
FoundedApril 1996, Chicago, United States[1]
FounderRick Wojcik and JP Schauer
HeadquartersChicago, United States[2]
Area served
Worldwide (ships to US and international destinations)[3]
ServicesNew and used music sales
OwnerDusty Holdings, LLC (Illinois)


Online record store

Founded in 1996 by University of Chicago alumni Rick Wojcik and JP Schauer as an online-only record store, the website dustygroove.com soon attracted the interest of global record collectors.[5] The site has been featured in publications such as The New York Times,[6] Rolling Stone,[7] Billboard,[8] The Wire,[9] Spin,[10] GQ,[11] Esquire,[12] and Vibe.[13]

Retail operations

Dusty Groove operated its mail-based shipping business an office in the Hyde Park neighborhood of Chicago[1] before moving to a loft in Wicker Park in 1997, adding a brick-and-mortar retail storefront with weekend hours. The store opened for business daily 2001, expanding to a nearby location where it stands today.[14] Dusty Groove maintains an extensive warehouse and retail presence with up to 30,000 items in inventory at any given time and several hundred new titles added on a daily basis. Hundreds of orders are shipped every week day from its Wicker Park location to customers around the world, and the store maintains a prominent local presence in Chicago.[15][16][17]

Record label

The "Dusty Groove America" record label was started in 2007,[18] to license rare funk, soul, Latin, jazz, and Brazilian titles from Universal and Sony Music. This permitted the store to produce and distribute re-issues or re-releases of almost two dozen CDs,[19] most of which are now rare and long out of print.[20] The label opened their reissue series with the release of Brazilian musician Jorge Ben's 1970 album Fôrça Bruta.[21] The label continued as a partnership with Real Gone Music in 2012.[22]

The store itself was branded as Dusty Groove America until 2012, when it shortened its name to reflect its growing international customer base and to emphasize the parent corporation's official trademark.[23] Coincidentally, the phrase dusty groove has also appeared in the titles of songs by artists as diverse as Kelly Hogan,[24] The New Mastersounds,[25] Mushroom,[26] and Don Caballero.[27]

Recent activities

Large acquisitions

Dusty Groove is known for procuring large music collections from individuals, organizations, and other record stores.[28][29][30][31][32] Buyers regularly travel throughout the US and internationally to purchase music.[33] In 2012, the store acquired Chicago-based radio station WGN's vinyl record collection which included upwards of 40,000 titles dating to the 1950s.[34][35] On numerous occasions the store has bought collections from different institutions and private collectors with units numbering in the several thousands.[36][37]

Special events and open-air markets

Dusty Groove participates in Record Store Day on an annual basis,[38] and has been featured at the Renegade Craft Fair[39] and other open-air markets and street festivals in the Chicago area.[40] It has sold collectible music at several pop-up locations, usually in neighborhoods where few retail music outlets are established.[41]

In 2016 the store celebrated its twentieth anniversary with a block party.[42][43]

Website revisions

In 2013, a website revision was initiated to allow fine-grain search and inspection of product inventory based on genre, format, price, release decade, new vs. used status, and label (in addition to artist name and title).[44][45] This simulates a virtual "crate digging" experience for dedicated audiophiles and casual record and CD buyers alike. Newly added products are grouped by genre to permit regular customers to quickly scan inventory changes, mirroring a "new arrivals" bin often found in a typical used record store. Dusty Groove's staff writes all product descriptions and scans all album and CD covers,[14] providing a unique combination of written and visual information that is generally unavailable from other retailers or online music catalogs.

Awards and recognition

The business is consistently regarded as one of the best record stores in Chicago by critics and customers alike.[46] In 2010 it was recognized as one of the Best Record Stores in the US by Rolling Stone,[47] and in 2011 by Time,[48] The Wall Street Journal,[49] and Readers Digest.[50] The store is cited among the leaders in the revival of vinyl record sales.[51][52]

In 2019, a feature-length documentary about the store and its relationship with the Chicago music community was released.[53] [54]


Albums reissued on CD under the Dusty Groove label include:

See also


  1. "Dusty Groove's History". dustygroove.com. Retrieved 30 April 2014.
  2. "Chicago Record Store and Warehouse". dustygroove.com. Retrieved 30 April 2014.
  3. "Shipping Information". dustygroove.com. Retrieved 30 April 2014.
  4. Blackwell, Elizabeth Canning (2010). Chicago 2011. Hoboken, N.J.: Wiley. p. 247. ISBN 978-0470643730.
  5. Putre, Laura. "In the groove: Two WHPK alumni carve out a record-shop niche". University of Chicago Magazine, July–August 2007. University of Chicago. Retrieved 30 April 2014.
  6. Moon, Freda (January 1, 2014). "36 Hours in Chicago". The New York Times. Retrieved 30 April 2014.
  7. "Best Online Music Store" (PDF). Rolling Stone. December 1998.
  8. Martens, Todd (June 2007). "A Web Retailer Gets Physical". Billboard Magazine. p. Vol. 119 Issue 26, p29. Archived from the original on 2014-05-02. Retrieved 30 April 2014.
  9. "Melvin Jackson/Jorge Ben review". The Wire. December 2007.
  10. Weisbard, Eric (December 2000). The Indie City. Spin Magazine. Retrieved 30 April 2014.
  11. Dubow, Shane; Rapoport, Adam (August 2001). "What's New in Chicago". GQ Magazine. Archived from the original on 2014-05-02. Retrieved 30 April 2014.
  12. Berend, Christopher (June 2001). "A Record Collection Too Funky For Words" (PDF). Esquire Magazine. p. 46. Retrieved 30 April 2014.
  13. Lesser, Jonathan (June 2001). "Groove Merchant: Windy City site simplifies the search for the perfect beat" (PDF). GQ Magazine. Retrieved 30 April 2014.
  14. Ankeny, Jason (May 2011). "The Dusty Groove America Record Store Keeps on Spinning". Entrepreneur. Entrepreneur.com. Retrieved 30 April 2014.
  15. "Record Shopping In Chicago: The Best Spots For Vinyl Lovers". Huffington Post. September 15, 2010.
  16. Margasak, Peter (June 26, 2008). "Best Record Store (Reader's Choice)" (PDF). Chicago Reader. Retrieved 30 April 2014.
  17. "Best Record Shops In Chicago". CBS Chicago. December 5, 2011. Retrieved 30 April 2014.
  18. "Dusty Groove America - Discogs". Discogs.com. Retrieved 30 April 2014.
  19. Margasak, Peter (November 25, 2008). "Dusty Groove keeps cranking out the good stuff". Chicago Reader. Retrieved 30 April 2014.
  20. Margasak, Peter (July 12, 2013). "New jazz rarities from the tastemakers at Dusty Groove". Chicago Reader. Chicago Reader. Retrieved 30 April 2014.
  21. Madell, Josh (12 December 2007). "The Other Music Update". Other Music. Archived from the original on 17 December 2018. Retrieved 18 December 2018.
  22. "Real Gone Music Announces Partnership With Dusty Groove For Reissue Campaign". Real Gone Music. October 26, 2012. Retrieved 30 April 2014.
  23. "Trademark: Retail store services via a global computer network, featuring musical recordings and compact discs". February 15, 2000. Retrieved 30 April 2014.
  24. Kelly Hogan (9 April 2012). "Kelly Hogan - Dusty Groove". YouTube.com. Retrieved 30 April 2014.
  25. The New Mastersounds (11 December 2013). "The New Mastersounds - Dusty Groove". YouTube.com. Retrieved 30 April 2014.
  26. Mushroom (2001). "A Dusty Groove". AllMusic.com. Retrieved 30 April 2014.
  27. Don Caballero (13 April 2012). "Don Caballero - Celestial Dusty Groove". YouTube.com. Retrieved 30 April 2014.
  28. Dusty Groove (September 30, 2013). "A truck full of records". Facebook.com. Retrieved 30 April 2014.
  29. Dusty Groove (November 5, 2013). "One of the most organized storage lockers we've ever dug in". Facebook.com. Retrieved 30 April 2014.
  30. Dusty Groove (September 12, 2013). "Take a look at this massive pile of used CDs". Facebook.com. Retrieved 30 April 2014.
  31. Dusty Groove (December 18, 2012). "15,000 LPs in a cramped basement". Facebook.com. Retrieved 30 April 2014.
  32. Dusty Groove (October 26, 2012). "Check out this sweet basement we're digging in today". Facebook.com.
  33. Dusty Groove (December 18, 2013). "That's a half-ton of CDs". Facebook.com. Retrieved 30 April 2014.
  34. Danna, Jeff (July 5, 2012). "WGN radio sells vintage record collection". Chicago Tribune. Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 30 April 2014.
  35. Dugan, John (August 8, 2012). "Dusty Groove buys WGN Radio's record collection". TimeOut Chicago. Retrieved 30 April 2014.
  36. Dusty Groove (October 10, 2012). "Just one of six rows in the guy's house". Facebook.com. Retrieved 30 April 2014.
  37. Dusty Groove (October 5, 2012). "An enormous collection that we bought". Facebook.com. Retrieved 30 April 2014.
  38. "Dusty Groove Signed Record Store Day Pledge". Record Store Day. Retrieved 30 April 2014.
  39. "Renegade Craft Fair Holiday Market in Chicago This Weekend". Renegade Craft Fair. December 2013. Archived from the original on 2 May 2014. Retrieved 30 April 2014.
  40. Schubas Tavern; Dusty Groove (September 21, 2013). "Pig, Swig and Record Dig 2013". Retrieved 30 April 2014.
  41. "Dusty Groove, Numero Group Announce Pop-Up Record Stores". Chicagoist.com. April 2, 2012. Archived from the original on November 5, 2017. Retrieved 30 April 2014.
  42. "Dusty Groove Will Revive A Chicago Jazz DJ Tradition At Its Free 20th Birthday Party". Chicagoist.com. 7 June 2016. Archived from the original on 31 July 2016. Retrieved 25 July 2016.
  43. "Dusty Groove 20th Birthday Block Party". Facebook.com. 25 July 2016.
  44. "Dusty Groove (home page)". July 8, 2013. Archived from the original on July 8, 2013. Retrieved 30 April 2014.
  45. "Dusty Groove (home page)". July 25, 2013. Archived from the original on July 25, 2013. Retrieved 30 April 2014.
  46. Paste Staff (16 April 2010). "The 17 Coolest Record Stores in America". Paste Magazine. Retrieved 30 April 2014.
  47. "The Best Record Stores in the USA". Rolling Stone Magazine. 16 September 2010. Retrieved 30 April 2014.
  48. Wolk, Douglas (16 April 2011). "Record Store Day: 10 Great American Record Shops". Time Magazine. Retrieved 30 April 2014.
  49. O'Neill, Luke (26 February 2011). "Vinyl still spins at the best music stores in America". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 30 April 2014.
  50. "Best Of America: Vinyl Records" (PDF). Reader's Digest. December 2011. Retrieved 30 April 2014.
  51. Safo, Nova (15 September 2014). "Vinyl record sales have jumped to 6 million". Marketplace (radio program). Retrieved 23 December 2014.
  52. Forina, Anastasia (30 June 2014). "As vinyl record sales soar, Chicago emerges as a top market". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 23 December 2014.
  53. Beverly, Danielle. "Dusty Groove: The Sound of Transition". Petunia Productions. Retrieved 30 April 2014.
  54. Chiarito, Bob. "Selling Your Record Collection To Move On In Life The Focus Of New Documentary Based At Dusty Groove". Block Club Chicago. Retrieved 4 November 2019.