Jane “Moonbeam” Pender and Steve Russian run Strings and Stuff in Grandview. Photo by Kathy Feist
Strings and Stuff provides all the stuff on a guitarist’s wish list
By Kathy Feist, Adam Vescovi
For a musician, stepping into a music store is like stepping into Santa’s toyland. For any musician, Strings and Stuff located in Grandview offers that kind of experience.
The small shop, located at 12712 S. 71 Hwy, is filled with multiple guitars of all colors, shapes and sizes, be they new or used, electric or acoustic. The store also contains sound equipment, including PA speakers, amplifiers, soundboards, effects racks, and more, thus filling the floor. An accouterments of microphones, stands, cables, strings, picks, drumsticks, and associated stuff crowds the checkout stand. Throw in a selection of incense and essential oils for good measure.
One small room in the back remains untouched by music hardware. Instead it is filled with tie dyed apparel, such as shirts, jackets, bags and tapestries. The shirts are hand dyed by shop owner Jane “Moonbeam” Pender.
Pender and her partner of five years Steve Russian opened Strings and Stuff in 2017. Those familiar with the local music scene you may have heard of these two in some capacity.
Grandview native Pender comes from a musical family. Her famous brother Mark Pender performed on trumpet for 20 years in the Max Weinberg 7 on the Late Show with Conan O’Brian Show. Her brother Tom Pender performs jazz guitar in Kansas City and is a professor of music at surrounding universities and colleges. Her son Bobby Carson performs with the KC Rhythm Review. Despite the musical cred, Jane works as a fulltime warehouse manager, at times leaving the guitar shop to none other than business partner Russian.
“Steve determines what goes on here,” she says.” We definitely rely on him to do the technology stuff.”
Russian is most known for his career as a sound man in Kansas City, having worked for Superior Sound, and engineering festivals and concerts since 1970. Russian is certainly not new to running music stores as he previously owned Steve’s Music in Grandview, which was located next to Strings and Stuff. On the day of our visit, Russian was busy helping a local church sound technician with sound upgrades. “Steve is very knowledgable with sound equipment,” says Pender, which she says is a benefit for beginning performers.
For the Christmas season, Strings and Stuff is featuring new half- and ¾-size guitars for the small guitarists. They are also offering a bundled special for any new guitarist with visions of fame and onstage performances dancing in their heads: an electric guitar with a strap, amp, cable and tuner for $150.
Strings and Stuff has recently added guitar and bass lessons with Nace Brothers guitarist Chase McRoy as an option for the young and/or aspiring guitarist.
Pender likes to think Strings and Stuff is doing its part to make a stronger community.
“Music is good for the community,” says Pender. “Anything musical gets the brain engaged instead of going out and getting in trouble.”
For more information, call 816-599-4617.