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Blue Bus Music: Hitting the right notes

Patrick and Sanna Nimmo jam out on a couch at Blue Bus Music located at 6 Prospect Street. The shop’s name is a reference to the famous song “The End” by The Doors, one of Mr. Nimmo’s favorite bands. —Steve Coulter photo

Patrick and Sanna Nimmo jam out on a couch at Blue Bus Music located at 6 Prospect Street. The shop’s name is a reference to the famous song “The End” by The Doors, one of Mr. Nimmo’s favorite bands. —Steve Coulter photo

Each guitar string plays a different tune.

And at Blue Bus Music shop, one can learn to play the chords from some of the most famous tracks ever written.

“We really want to make a positive influence through music,” said owner Patrick Nimmo. “We are open for everybody — from first-time players to experts.”

Mr. Nimmo opened his store in Ridgefield in October, relocating here from Katonah, N.Y. He has owned Blue Bus Music with his wife, Sanna, for four and a half years.

“The lease ran up at our old store and that was a blessing, because we wanted to have more space with better parking and we found that here,” he said. “We wanted to put a stage here for kids to play — that was another big factor.”

In what once used to be a cabinet store at 6 Prospect Street, Blue Bus Music offers customers lessons, repairs, custom instruments, and top-of-the-line brands.

Some of the headline instruments on display at the shop are Maton guitars from Australia and G&L guitars, better known as Fender, from Fullerton, Calif.

Mr. Nimmo boasts that he is one of only three dealers of Maton guitars in the entire country. He was inspired to have them in his shop after seeing a Tommy Emmanuel show.

“We have a great range in our selection and we welcome in any level of musician,” he said.

Before owning Blue Bus Music, Mr. Nimmo served in the Navy and then worked in New York City at a maritime law firm.

Originally from Iowa, he first played the trumpet in his younger years and didn’t learn how to play the guitar until he was in his 30s.

“I have no formal training on guitar,” he admits. “My background with the trumpet helped me a lot though.”

Some of his favorite guitarists include Mr. Emmanuel and Jimi Hendrix.

“Jimi’s version of All Along the Watchtower would make anyone want to play the guitar,” he said.

As for making guitars, Mr. Nimmo said this is one of his specialties and a part of his business that sets him apart.

He believes his ability to repair and to carry certain brands also gives him an advantage in this area.

“There’s a good amount of competition here in town,” he said. “But you can never have enough music and I think we offer some things that other stores can’t offer— we can all coexist.”

Since arriving in town, he said, business has steadily been increasing through word of mouth.

He hosts open mic nights on the last Saturday of every month to give musicians a platform to play. Open mic nights are free for anybody to attend.

In addition, he offers both private and group lessons throughout the week in “all types of string instruments,” in classical, flamenco, jazz, blues and rock, along with ukulele, piano and bass classes.

Like any musician, Mr. Nimmo pays homage to others who have inspired him along the way. In fact, the store’s name comes from Jim Morrison’s lyrics “the blue bus is calling us” from the 11-minute song The End, performed by The Doors.

“I’m a lucky man because I am doing something I love to do,” he said. “I am comfortable here and I am just trying to make a comfortable living.”

Blue Bus Music is open Monday to Thursday from noon to 8 p.m, Friday noon to 6 p.m., and Saturday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

For more information, call 203-244-5296 or visit bluebusmusic.com.

About author
Award-winning journalist for Hersam Acorn Newspapers. Covers beats such as education, police and fire, planning, real estate, and business in the town of Ridgefield. Also covers sports and hosts a radio show, Radio Arts and Leisure, that runs on the company's 18 individual news websites. University of Denver graduate, die-hard Bronco and Yankee fan. Sports lover and compulsive traveler.

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