Guitar Heroes

Two brothers run a little music store that could.

Micah Castelo - May 2018

Guitar Heroes

Two brothers run a little music store that could.

Micah Castelo - May 2018

Ian, right, and Brian Goldstein own Brothers Music in Station North. -Mike Morgan

Inside an old brick rowhome on North Charles Street, the walls are lined with dangling guitars, vibrant show posters, and a cheeky “No Stairway to Heaven” sign to keep patrons from playing the opening lick of Led Zeppelin’s ubiquitous song.

In a time when large corporations and online retailers swallow up mom-and-pop shops, there are still a few determined fighters, like siblings Brian and Ian Goldstein with their new-and-used instrument store, fittingly named Brothers Music, in Station North. Three years ago, the brothers—hobby musicians of the former Towson band Evolve—noticed a lack of independent music shops in Baltimore.

Two-and-a-half months later, the Goldsteins, along with Ian’s now-wife Jenny, opened Brothers with no past business experience and used equipment from Craigslist to stock their shop. In between their full-time careers (Ian, right, is a government affairs specialist in Washington, D.C., and Brian, left, is a special education public school teacher), the brothers have grown the store to include drums, locally made pedals, and even rare pieces, like a 1966 12-string Wurlitzer. But Brothers Music is more than a cozy shop with a “Corporate Chains Still Suck” motto.

Moved to action by the 2015 Baltimore Uprising, the Goldsteins have prioritized local engagement and community outreach—they’ve petitioned for street lighting, hosted food drives, and done meet-and-greets with mayoral candidates.

The Station North store is also a frequent stop for local musicians, among them members of Future Islands, Wye Oak, and Black Lung.

“It’s our go-to,” says Jeff Koplovitz of Baltimore indie band Surf Harp. “They’re knowledgeable about what they have without being pretentious gearheads. They just want to help their fellow musicians and give them a personable experience—something you can’t get from a Guitar Center or Amazon.”

You May Also Like

Arts Space

Tariq Touré’s New Children’s Book Explains the Meaning of the Black Dollar

West Baltimore native teaches financial literacy in illustrated story, ‘David's Dollar.’

Arts & Culture

Author Mary Rizzo Examines The Arts’ Role in Baltimore’s Identity

We talk to Rizzo about her new book, ’Come and Be Shocked.’


The Maryland Film Festival Goes Virtual

From June 12-21, shorts and feature films can be accessed directly through the festival’s site.

The Chatter

The Womanist Reader Creates an Online Library of Black Literature

A Baltimore writer curates an evolving list of women writers for her women followers.

The Chatter

Photo Essay: Baltimore in Black and White

Photographer and Hopkins researcher James Trudeau captures scenes from the pandemic.


Movie Review: Da 5 Bloods

Spike Lee takes on Vietnam, in his inimitable way.

Ian, right, and Brian Goldstein own Brothers Music in Station North. -Mike Morgan

Connect With Us

Most Read

Baltimore Pride’s Legacy Lives On Despite Canceled Festival: Community comes together virtually to celebrate with discussions and events.

Amid The Economic Chaos, Downtown Partnership’s New President Has a Plan: Shelonda Stokes was just named president after serving in an interim leadership role.

WTMD’s First Thursdays Go Virtual for the Rest of the Summer: The planned overhaul of the annual festival will be postponed until next year.

How These Surprise Quarantine ‘Flower Bombs’ Are Helping Families in Need: The paper-plate flowers have become a massive fundraiser for the Ronald McDonald House.

Bottoms Up Bagels Rolls Into Harwood: Owners debut their new “BUB Hub” at 28th and Greenmount.