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The Record Exchange - Culture Spot

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[ 2016 staff picks ]

2016 staff picks

After weeks of scrutiny, Record Exchange staffers have completed their 2016 Top 10 lists. Visit the store to view the lists in realtime and preview our picks. Let the judgment begin!


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Basic CMYK

The Record Exchange is a proud partner with Boise's Payette Brewing Company! Enjoy Payette Brewing Company beer (and for free!) at Record Exchange events such as Record Store Day, the annual holiday Bonus Club Sale and select live music events!


[ go listen boise ]

go listen boise

Go Listen Boise is a non-profit, all-volunteer organization with the mission of fostering a vibrant and diverse musical culture in the Boise area.


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rx amazon store

Visit The Record Exchange's Amazon Marketplace store to shop for rare and discount CDs, vinyl, DVDs and books. Live in Boise? Order online and arrange for in-store pickup!


[ rx top 10 ]

rx top 10

1. Prisoner
Ryan Adams
2. Unleashed
3. Windy City
Alison Krauss
4. Petals
Elephant Revival
5. One More for the Road
Curtis Stigers
6. 25
7. Tell Me I’m Pretty
Cage the Elephant
8. A Sailor’s Guide to Earth
Sturgill Simpson
9. Highway Queen
Nikki Lane
10. Dirty Projectors
Dirty Projectors

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The Record Exchange is a proud sponsor of the sixth annual Treefort Music Fest, taking place March 22-26 throughout Downtown Boise. Treefort 2017 5-day passes are now on sale at The Record Exchange!


[ sell us your stuff! ]

sell us your stuff!

The Record Exchange buys and trades used CDs, DVDs, Blu-ray discs and vinyl in good condition Monday-Saturday until 9 p.m. and Sunday until 6 p.m.


[ special orders ]

special orders

Can't find it in the store? The Record Exchange does special orders!



October 3rd, 2016


fultonThe Record Exchange (1105 W. Idaho St.) is honored to host the SFM-Steve Fulton Music “Eponym” Album Release Party at 6pm First Thursday, Oct. 6. “Eponym” will be available for purchase at the party. As always, this Record Exchange in-store event is free and all ages.

Though “Eponym” is the first new album in 11 years from the Idaho musician and producer, Fulton has hardly been dormant; rather, he’s spent that time working on hundreds of records for other artists, helping build Visual Arts Collective and expand his Audio Lab recording studio, and producing live music events around the state. In his “spare time,” he amassed 40 original songs.

Following a successful Indiegogo campaign in the spring, Fulton got to work putting the songs to tape. The resulting double album showcases two sides of his musical persona — full-band funky rock on one half and stripped-down Americana on the other. A single-LP vinyl version of “Eponym” featuring select tracks, many of them alternate versions and mixes, will be released later in the year.

With so much material and so many styles in play, the “Eponym” sessions developed their own ebb and flow — some songs came together in one take, others over several days. Often, the end result looked much different from the initial vision.

“There are four versions of every song,” Fulton says, “the one in your head, the one you play by yourself, the one you record and the one you play with a combo of other musicians. It is rare any two sound the same.”

Though individual tracks were recorded separately for several songs, others — particularly on the rock side of the album — called for a full-band live setup in the studio.

“When there are two or three things going on in your headphones, it is just easier to hear things, but when you want that epic sound you really need to have the live combo play at the same time to get the energy you are looking for,” says Fulton.

He also found energy outside the studio that he brought back to the sessions. Shortly after recording commenced, Fulton crossed the country performing songs from “Eponym” with Boise musician Sean Hatton (New Transit). Then, upon returning to Idaho, he attended a weeklong songwriting retreat in Stanley that birthed three new songs, all of which found their way onto “Eponym.”

Back in the studio, Fulton was equally inspired by the musicians participating in the sessions, an A-list of Idaho talent including Tim Willis, Scot Alexander (from Dishwalla), Dave Goff, Scott Lindbloom, Dan Costello, Leta Neustaedter, Christine Thomas, Rob Hill, Lucas Ventura, Lindsey Hunt, Tim Hammes, Shon Sanders, Randy Meenach, Bernie Reilly, Louis McFarland, Curt Wardhaugh, Rochelle Smith and Blaze & Kelly.

“What they lend to the tracks is just incredible,” he says. “For instance, I never had pedal steel on a record, and Randy just takes it into another world. Their approach changed the songs at times, and almost always for the better.”


Steve Fulton is a singer-songwriter, producer and recording engineer who performs as SFM-Steve Fulton Music. Fulton is a household name in his hometown of Boise, where he also owns and operates one of the state’s finest recording studios, Audio Lab. Fulton was a founding member, lead singer and guitarist of House of Hoi Polloi, which over 13 years recorded five albums and toured extensively throughout the Northwest. 

Fulton has performed all over the country, touring with his band and as a solo artist. Fulton first performed his solo material live when he opened for Tori Amos in front of 3,000 people at the Idaho Center. Since then, he has released two solo albums on his Uncommon Records label, “Shock Remission” and “Said & Heard.”

Fulton is also passionate about making his community a better place. In addition to performing for a variety of benefit concerts over the years, he serves as mentor to a wide array of local musicians and engineers, provides job-shadowing opportunities and internships, and gets involved in many youth-oriented projects, including Boise Rock School and Community Youth Connection.

September 13th, 2016


y-la-bambaY La Bamba will perform live at The Record Exchange (1105 W. Idaho St., Downtown Boise) at 6pm Wednesday, Sept. 14. As always, this Record Exchange in-store event is free and all ages. Y La Bamba is performing at The Olympic Venue later in the evening and we have tickets for sale at the store!

Purchase Y La Bamba’s new album Ojos Del Sol (CD or LP) at the in-store!


418457610847It’s easy to talk about an artist’s growth as a series of musical decisions: an expanding sonic palette, a change in mood or tempo, an escape from the trappings of genre. It’s harder to talk about an artist’s personal—or even spiritual—growth, because that kind of progress is hard to track. Until, that is, an album like Y La Bamba’s Ojos Del Sol comes along and screams of radical transformation on every level. The Portland act’s fourth offering is a sweeping, playful and vulnerable collection that’s ripe with both musical and personal discovery. From the intimate, contemplative verses of the Spanish-language title track to the revelations delivered over the loping beats of “Ostrich,” this is an album that’s painstakingly produced while remaining emotionally raw.

Throughout the collection, Y La Bamba frontwoman Luz Elena Mendoza returns to themes of searching and metamorphosis. On one level, this is born from the Y La Bamba frontwoman’s continuing exploration of her identity as a Mexican woman. Both of Mendoza’s parents grew up in Mexico—Luz was born in San Francisco, then brought up in a strict Catholic household in Southern Oregon. She spent her childhood summers playing in the orchards of California’s San Joaquin Valley with her cousins, and it was there that she soaked up the melodies and stories that were being told through traditional folk songs with three-part harmonies. These are sounds that remain a vital building block of the songs on Ojos Del Sol, an album which she says represents “a celebration of family and community.”

But on another level, Ojos Del Sol is about Luz’s search for shared humanity outside of her own community, and for a faith that is greater than just religion. These are themes that run throughout Y La Bamba’s body of work work—with roots in a 2003 journey to India, which found Mendoza falling ill and trading her Christianity for something broader—but there’s a maturity to Ojos Del Sol that speaks to true, lasting transformation. You can hear this on the lush “Kali,” where she sings—with wonderment rather than fear—that “to know yourself is to lose everything.” And you can hear it on the album’s epic closer, “Ulysses,” where Mendoza sings that her life is “written in sand and ash and stone.”

These are songs built to soundtrack coming to grips not just with one’s own mortality, but with the fragility of the world. This is heady, emotional fare, and “this record is about being a mother to these emotions,” Mendoza says.

Her clarity of voice is intimately tied to a renewed musical approach, which Luz attributes to a greater self-awareness that developed through recent collaborations with singer-songwriters Edna Vazquez and Lila Downs, as well as an exploration of mariachi, cumbia, and Latin pop with Calexico’s Sergio Mendoza—no relation—on a collaborative 2015 album released under the name Los Hijos De La Montaña.

Those collaborations helped Mendoza find her own voice as a more confident producer and songwriter on an album that is often a stripped-down affair. Mendoza plays guitar throughout Ojos Del Sol, and worked actively with composer Richie Greene to create a new sonic voice. Percussion from another regular Mendoza collaborator, Nick Delffs (Shaky Hands, Death Songs), is a welcome near-constant that adds depth and soul to the album. To that same end, Mendoza hand-cut stencil art pieces, which appear in Ojos Del Sol’s liner notes, to pair with each new song. All of this is presented as a cohesive offering, an entry in Y La Bamba’s ongoing musical conversation about community, about the self, and about survival.

“I am thankful for all of my hardships,” Mendoza says in the album’s liner notes. “They have guided me to find rest in my soul, time after time. Over and over again.”

September 13th, 2016



The Record Exchange (1105 W. Idaho St.) is honored to host the Ned Evett “Glass Guitar” Album Release Party at 5:30pm Thursday, Sept. 15. “Glass Guitar” will be available for purchase at the party. As always, this Record Exchange in-store event is free and all ages.


Ned Evett is following up his acclaimed 2012 album “Treehouse” (produced by Adrian Belew) with “Glass Guitar,” an epic 12-song set of rock/Americana/blues featuring Ned’s trademark glass-necked fretless guitars. Much of the album was written by Evett touring across America, Europe and Southeast Asia promoting “Treehouse.”

“This album was written in the jungle, tested in the desert, and recorded very quickly,” Evett says.

The song subjects range from the detailed war heroes of “Greatest Generation” to the kinetic future-folk of “Robot’s Daughter.” Many of the songs, such as “Golden Gate,” the true story of Ned’s first fretless glass-necked guitar, are already fan favorites.

The basic tracks were recorded at Audio Lab Recording Studio by Steve Fulton and Pat Storey, chasing down the classic sound of 1950s-era Nashville.

“We used a lot of room mics and bleed to get that immediacy, and limited ourselves to one or two takes of each performance,” Evett says.

Overdubs for Ned’s electric glass guitars were done at Upstairs Studios, Los Angeles, with a feel intended to achieve the sound of a live band playing in the studio.

“The secret is recording two or three complete lead guitar takes per song, then choosing the best performance; more takes than that and it starts to sound too slick,” Evett says. “My East Nashville days served me well sticking to this approach, plus putting an album out yourself means you’re always watching the clock!”

Todd Chavez contributes cajon and percussion to the album.

“Todd makes his own cajons with a patented curved top, so he can hit harder without bloodying his hands. They have a big sound and he played the parts perfectly as well,” Evett says.

Evett also played the bass guitar and piano on the album.

“I like performing bass and piano parts in the studio, you can really get inside the arrangement and lock in with simple parts,” he says.

Veteran Los Angeles musician George Bernardo plays vibes, adding a layer of dreamy sophistication to “Right This Time Around.”

A second volume of “Glass Guitar” is expected out in 2017.