Bumper to Bumper at Everlong Music | News, Sports, Jobs

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Josh Kafka, above, recently purchased Blue Earth’s Bumper to Bumper Music from Scott Nemanic, renaming the store Everlong Music.

A passion for music he says he inherited from his father inspired Josh Kafka to take the big step in life and become a music store owner.

“I bought Bumper to Bumper Music from Scott Nemanic,” reveals Kafka. “I’m renaming it Everlong Music, but the business location will remain here inside the Parts City Auto Parts store.”

According to Kafka, his father Paul had an old entertainment center when they lived in Texas.

“He would always have music”, comments the young Kafka. “I was probably in kindergarten and loved listening to his CDs and vinyl records.”

Kafka shares that you can count him among those “audiophiles” who think a vinyl album sounds better than a CD.

“It’s a fuller, richer sound than a produced album,” says Kafka. “I will listen to almost anything under the sun.”

Her statement is evidenced by an old Nancy Sinatra album sitting next to a turntable on her work counter.

Although he may be willing to listen to almost any genre of music, there is no doubt that he has a soft spot for a particular type.

“I tend to like what most people would call heavy metal,” he says. “Avenged Sevenfold is probably my current favorite band.”

For someone who is so passionate about music, it might seem odd that he didn’t really learn an instrument until he was 20 years old.

“Unfortunately, I was not involved in music when I was at school”, Kafka, a 2011 Blue Earth Area graduate, admits this. “I think I was one of those kids who thought he was too cool for that.”

Kafka finally decided to learn to play the guitar.

“I had been really hesitant to think about playing until I saw Foo Fighters guitarist Dave Grohl,” explains Kafka. “Grohl’s advice was ‘Just do it.'”

And that’s what Kafka did.

“I picked up a guitar when I was 23 and mostly taught myself to play,” he says. “I was also watching YouTube and studying how people were playing.”

Now he shares, he just plays for his own pleasure.

“I would love to be able to play in a band or just play with a bunch of guys in a garage,” comments Kafka.

He notes that he was probably into more traditional music when he was 16-18. But, as a music lover, he has a list of favorite bands that played before he was born.

“My favorite band from the 1970s would probably have to be Led Zeppelin. My 80s band would be Megadeth and Foo Fighters would be my choice for the 90s,” Kafka shares.

Another Kafka favorite was Casey Kasem.

“You could learn so much music history listening to his show,” he says. “He had a great voice and was the voice of Scooby Doo, who is one of my favorite cartoon characters.”

Just as Kasem put his voice to the service of the radio waves, Kafka will soon be using his sweet baritone voice when he starts working at KBEW radio in a few weeks.

“I was hired as director of information”, he comments. “I’ve always enjoyed speaking and performing in front of people and I feel very comfortable doing that.”

He feels there are a lot of people out there with talent to share and he hopes to provide them with an outlet to do so.

“I would like to bring karaoke to certain establishments in the region and organize open mic evenings”, says Kafka. “I’ve been to karaoke nights and seen 50-year-old farmers who have probably never performed in front of a crowd and completely blown the audience away. A lot of times people just need an outlet. That is part of what I want to do to bring music to the community.

But, giving lessons itself is not in the picture.

“The 10 Talents Art Center does an incredible job in this area”, remarks Kafka. “But I can provide the instruments that people can use.”

And, it’s important to note that guitars aren’t the only music-related item that Everlong Music offers for sale.

“I have clarinets, cornets, trumpets and I can get anything a person wants”, he says. “Plus, I carry reeds, guitar strings, violin strings, drumsticks, amplifiers, and all the strings to plug everything in.”

Of course, Kafka has a wide variety of guitars for sale which are displayed in his store.

“I buy used guitars, clean them, put new strings on them, and do whatever else is necessary to make them look and sound like new,” he explains. “The only ones that aren’t for sale are the ones Scott or I own.”

The fact that Kafka’s stock is located in Blue Earth helps fill a void in the topography of music stores.

“I believe I’m the only music store within a 40 mile radius”, he comments. “People needing a reed for their saxophone or a string for their guitar don’t have to travel to Mankato to get one.”

Becoming a new store owner and starting a new job at the radio station aren’t the only changes Kafka brings to his life.

“I’m getting married in a little over a year,” Kafka shares.

His fiancée, Shannon Christianson, is originally from Fairmont but works in Clarion, Iowa.

“She’s a graphic designer for Sports Graphics,” says Kafka. “She is able to work from home, so it works well for us.”

With everything going on, Kafka is still trying to find time to play guitar.

“I play my electric guitar 90% of the time”, he comments. “If I’m singing songs around a campfire, I’ll pull out an acoustic guitar.”

Kafka shares that he is grateful for the opportunity Nemanic gave him.

“I started working for him in January of this year and then I ended up being able to buy the music business from him,” he says. “Scott has been wonderful to me and allowing me to keep the business in his building has really helped.”

Everlong Music will be open when Parts City Auto Parts is open, i.e. 8 am to 5 pm Monday to Friday.

“Even if I’m not there, if an item has a price tag, anyone can call it,” explains Kafka. “Otherwise people can call me at 507-525-6495.

His passion is hard to contain as he talks about his dreams.

“Music is something everyone can relate to,” says Kafka. “It’s fun to see the enjoyment people get from music.”


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