Front Porch

Buffalo Brothers Guitars Reinvents Itself with a New Owner

Buffalo Brothers' iconic chicken

Buffalo Brothers’ iconic chicken

New owner James Hood (left) and electric specialist Johnny Salciido

New owner James Hood (left) and electric specialist Johnny Salciido

Same big chicken, same great selection of instruments, but a new owner and new vibe permeate two of San Diego’s venerable music institutions: Buffalo Brothers Guitars in Carlsbad and New Expression Music (Now Buffalo Bros Guitars South) in North Park. Founded by Bob Page as Traditional Music back in the 1970s, Buffalo Brothers Guitars and Buffalo Bros Guitars South are now in the capable hands of new owner James Hood who, for the last several years, has run and improved the repair shop at Buffalo Brothers. James is a guitar and bass player, both acoustic and electric, and has been tinkering with guitars ever since he was 15 when he took to lower the action on his first acoustic guitar.

James has renamed New Expression Music in North Park to Buffalo Bros Guitars South to reflect the common ownership. James not only has extensive knowledge about instruments and instrument repair, but he is a dedicated people person. His motto is to make sure every person who walks in the door of either store is treated with dignity and feels respected. His goal is to ensure that every customer connects with the instruments. He instills this ethic in his employees and one can easily see the comfort and pleasure that customers feel when they walk in.

James has had made jobs over the years, including at Del Taco, as a grocery bag boy, and in the mortgage industry, so he knows what it means to work hard. After taking over Buffalo Brothers repair shop about eight years ago, and taking it independent a few years after that, James turned what had been an anemic part of the Buffalo Brothers offerings into its most successful component today. Coincidentally, as James was successfully growing the repair business then owner Bob Page was approaching 70 and looking forward to retirement. It seemed natural for Bob to pass the businesses to James, and James’ deep religious faith had assured him something good would happen. So, one might say it was a confluence of events that lead to the transfer of these stores to James, as he was the natural candidate.

James reports that what customers have always liked about Buffalo Brothers and New Expression will not change: outstanding selection of guitars and equipment, knowledgeable staff, great music teachers, an upgrade policy, and hosting and support for community music activities, but there will be some upgrades, including more Taylor guitars, the return of Fender, more social media outreach, more community activities, a new website for Buffalo Bros Guitars South, and even better teaching and repair services. Sean Hutchinson will head up the repair store (Sean was a tech for Switchfoot) and James expects to be designating store managers for the two stores soon, although James will remain on site and active day to day.

Stop by and say hi; you will feel welcome and respected indeed!

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