Before commercial radio, before the first 78s were pressed, if you wanted to hear music, your best bet might have been to find a church. From rural chapels to urban cathedrals, from hymns to spirituals to chants, church and music have always gone hand in hand, made common not by genre but by purpose.
Next to the music itself, is anything more beloved about a record than its cover art? From 45 picture sleeves to LPs, cover art plays a prominent role in a record’s reputation and legacy. Entire books and websites have been devoted to cover art, and in some cases—think Abbey Road or A Dark Side of the Moon—an album’s cover is possibly more recognizable than its music. We put records in frames and hang them on our walls, we print posters and t-shirts out of them, and most of us will admit to buying at least a record or two based entirely on its cover. Indeed, if it were not for cover art, Dust & Grooves might not exist.
The name Keb Darge has been a synonym for vinyl record culture for the past four decades. The outspoken Scotsman, responsible for starting more than his share of music scenes for the past 40 years, knows all too well the ups and downs of a record collector. Having owned and sold many of the world's rarest records in his lifetime, he has seen the many of these leave his record box more than once, without regrets. Credited for discovering unknown records and bringing them to the public, Mr. Darge has been adamant about one thing: the music.