Behind the Scenes | Breakaway Records

With one of the largest collections of 45s in the city, Gabe Vaughn and Joshua LaRue are always invited to the party.


Breakaway Records celebrates seven years in Austin this month. Run by vinyl aficionado Gabe Vaughn and partner Joshua LaRue, the store houses a collection of roughly 50,000 LPs and 45s across almost every genre imaginable. From records to cassettes, and everything in between (In need of a stereo? Turntable? Needles? You’ll find it here), the shop is meticulously curated to ensure customers find only the very best. If you swing in and spy Vaughn behind the counter, chances are you’ll walk out with an album or two and an education about the vinyl scene happening in Austin these days.

Years after getting his start hunting down records in high school, Vaughn set out to open his own store, a small shop on the East Side. After just three years though, it was evident the collection was rapidly growing. “We were bursting at the seams,” Vaughn says. “The space was about one-third the size of where we are now, so it was time to upgrade.” Their move to North Loop proved to be not only a much needed upgrade, but also somewhat of a homecoming. “I grew up right over here. I shopped at all these surrounding businesses when I was a little kid,” Vaughn explains. “My mom lives three blocks away and often comes over.”

With one of the largest selections of 45s in the city (somewhere in the neighborhood of 25,000) Breakaway has retained a steady flow of followers throughout the years. As Vaughn calls them — “45 people” flock to the store to scour the shelves for old and new finds. While there’s a little bit of everything from country to 90s electronic, the store specializes in soul and R&B, and by extension jazz and blues. And that has a lot to do with Vaughn himself, whose established reputation as a DJ drew crowds to the store in search of the best soul and R&B on vinyl. Today, still spinning as Secondliner, Vaughn holds down regular gigs around town including the 1950s/60s inspired dance party “Second Sunday Sock Hop” at White Horse and an old-school hip hop night “Cold Lampin’” at Hotel Vegas. In fact, the entire staff shares an affinity for DJing their favorite vinyl, and takes turns spinning at Hotel San José on Wednesdays.

In the last few years, the store has expanded its reach even further by launching their label, Drop Shadow Records. “Our original intention was to be a re-issue label,” Vaughn says. They kicked off their project by obtaining a license for a pair of rare singles that they reissued. However, when they came across a contemporary psychedelic soul band, Chicano Batman, they decided to put out a 45 for the group. Today, that band is touring with Jack White and will be performing at the Coachella music festival. Whether it’s an up-and-coming band, or a quality product, it’s clear Vaughn has an intuition for music, and passion.


Photography by Daniel Brock

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