Stu Cohen - Owner
Stu's exposure to vintage instruments started in 1960, when he discovered a long-closed pawn shop and purchased its stock. A hobby evolved into the opening of "The Music Emporium" in 1968 in Pittsburgh, years before the store relocated to Lexington, MA. In the early 1970s his seminal article on "American Banjo Makers" became the foundation and touchstone for the history of the American banjo. The only Music Emporium personality to sport a handlebar moustache, he remains the most easily recognizable icon here. Stu's staggering knowledge of fretted instrument history requires testing; quiz him if you like (many do, every day)! When he isn't seeking out new and wonderful instrument makers, you might catch him pickin' banjo, or picking wild mushrooms for several of Boston's finest restaurants.
Joe Caruso - Owner
Joe Caruso has been with The Music Emporium since 1994. A guitarist since his early teens, Joe got the guitar-building bug while teaching high school English in upstate New York. From there, he studied lutherie with Charles Fox protege George Morris in Vermont. He stumbled into TME shortly thereafter, began repairing guitars and got hooked on the business. You'll find Joe's hand in every manner of the business, from sales and purchasing to website management and store layout.
Adam Dardeck - Sales Manager
Beneath Adam's mild-mannered exterior hides a fingerstyle phenom. A TME customer first, he knows better than any of us what it’s like on the other side of the counter. Avid music and movie critic, Adam hosts the infamous, semi-annual Conan the Barbarian fest. No kidding. At TME, he keeps us in stock of the latest music books and accessories and constantly introduces us to new music that in his words, "will blow your mind.”
Robert Stubblebine (a.k.a. Yukon) - Repairs
Straight from the Roberto-Venn school of lutherie, via the Appalachian Trail, Robert aspires to be the next Fernando Torres of Boston. A fantastically patient and enthusiastic repairman, Robert will be found huddled in his shop most days between 6 am and 6 pm. And as soon as he can change a Lexington Town ordinance, you'll find him in a tent pitched outside our store. That is, until he adds that 1,000-square-foot extension on the back of the building. "No problem; that'll take two days, tops."
Ryan Fitzsimmons - Sales Associate
When he isn't wowing folk-rock audiences around the Northeast with his songwriting and vocal prowess, Ryan keeps things real here at the shop. Down to earth, patient and kindhearted, he is the type of person you want to clone to keep one around the house! Ryan is the artistic eye behind our web photos, and spends countless hours toiling over each and every nuanced shot. He works way too hard (thank heaven for Red Bull!)
Tim Mann - Sales Associate
A passionate follower of the Americana music scene, with a grasp of classic rock trivia to make your head spin like a warped LP, Tim has been with TME for over 10 years. If there's a product in our store he doesn't know about, then it doesn't exist. Tim is a talented singer and songwriter; when he isn't in the store you may find him playing music around town, often with Ukulele in hand (Tim is also our resident Ukulele aficionado!).
Andy Cambria - Sales Associate
An accomplished flatpicker, Andy is our bluegrass guitar expert and dreadnought specialist. You can hear his fluid playing in many sound samples right here on the website. He's a great songwriter, and his band Broken Blossoms have made quite a name for themselves at clubs and acoustic festivals throughout the north east. Andy is extremely knowledgeable and always eager to help!
Marylou Ferrante - Sales Associate
The newest addition to our staff, Marylou was called "the Bay State's finest female acoustic blues interpreter" by the Boston Herald. She's a fantastic fingerstyle guitar player, and she also knows her way around the old-time banjo! Always smiling and easy-going, Marylou has brought great positive energy to the shop, along years of music knowledge and expertise.