12 Days of Gift Guides: What to Get a Music Lover


If you missed out on Taylor Swift tickets (join the club), there’s no need to fear. Cincinnati is home to some of the best local shops and services offering gifts for the music lover in your life—and you won’t need to join a queue of thousands to take advantage of hot deals. Here are some options for your weekend concertgoer, headphone warrior, axe master, vinyl diehard, and that dude you know in a band. For those about to rock, we salute you.

Photograph courtesy Santangelo Group Inc.

Cincinnati Music Festival 2023 Tickets

The region’s biggest celebration of R&B, jazz, soul, and hip-hop returns July 21–23 at Paycor Stadium. For now, you can order tickets directly from the Santangelo Group by phone, and online tickets sales and this year’s lineup are coming soon.

(513) 924-0900, available 10 am–4 pm Monday–Friday

Two for One Tickets at Bogart’s

Now through December 6, Bogart’s is offering two for one concert tickets for select shows, including Whitey Morgan, Fozzy, A Very Motherfolk Christmas, the Dolly (Parton) Disco, WEBN’s Eggnog Social featuring The Struts, and others. Get one for them, get one for you.

2621 Short Vine, Corryville, box office (513) 872-8801

Third Rock Music Center

Cincinnati musicians swear by this local store serving guitarists, bassists, vocalists, and every other -ist you know. Each purchase of a new stringed instrument includes free lifetime maintenance, and through the end of the year, Third Rock offers 15 percent off pedals, so you can get ’em the wah they always wanted. You’ll also find stocking stuffers like straps, stands, capos, tuners, and more.

1232 Eight Mile Rd., Anderson Twp., (513) 843-5739

A tune-up from J. Kennedy Guitar Repair

Make sure your musician’s guitar is up to snuff. This West Chester shop is one of the premiere luthiers in the region, offering repairs and modifications for electric, acoustic, and bass guitars, and it’s the home of custom axes by Bridge Builder Guitars.

6230 B Centre Park Dr., West Chester, (513) 874-4877

Torn Light Wolfe Tote

Know someone who needs to haul up to 30 LPs in style? Whatever record party they’re going to, we want in. Show some love for a local outfit with this classic tote—it also makes a great alternative, reusable gift bag.

$15; 356 Ludlow Ave., Clifton, (513) 873-6995

Image courtesy Book Baby

Stacks of Wax: The Complete History of Record Labels in Cincinnati by David Bottoms

Author David Bottoms—an avid collector of records among other things—delves into the history of Cincinnati’s most famous labels starting with King, which launched James Brown’s career (maybe you’ve heard of him) and also recorded Bootsy Collins, Hank Ballard and the Midnighters, Little Willie John, Freddy King, and many others. Stacks of Wax also examines Fraternity, Rite, Lee, Lucky, Ruby, Saxony, and dozens of other smaller operations that have come and gone.

$40; Book Baby and fine local bookstores

Image courtesy Half Nelson Publishing

American Rocktails

For the music fan who also loves a stiff drink, this part-recipe guide, part-music history book will get them buzzing. Local mixologists and musicians Kristen Kreft of The Perfect Children and Mayalou Banatwala of Heavy Hinges pour up 31 curated cocktail tributes to Cincinnati music icons from local labels like King, Federal, and Jewel.

Paperback $27.99, hardcover $47.99; American Rocktails online shop


Their favorite LPs from local shops

An audiophile will never turn down a new addition to their record collection (“Whipped Cream and Other Delights” excluded), whether it’s a limited edition pressing or a new release they want to hear on something better than Spotify. Here are six local shops with great selections:

Shake It Records, 4156 Hamilton Ave., Northside, (513) 591-0123

Everybody’s Records, 6106 Montgomery Rd., Pleasant Ridge, (513) 531-4500

Phil’s Records, 3914 Winston Ave., Ludlow, (859) 441-2514

Plaid Room Records, 122 West Loveland Ave., Loveland, (513) 583-1843

Jet Age Records, 817 Monmouth St., Newport, (859) 916-5466

Torn Light Records, 356 Ludlow Ave., Clifton, (513) 873-6995

Visit cincinnatimagazine.com weekdays November 28–December 13 for new gift guides featuring ideas from local creators, crafters, and shops. Coming Friday: The official Best of the City gift guide.

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