Shoji Tabuchi

My favorite part about using money that I earn donating plasma to buy records is that it gives me the freedom to buy albums on a whim without feeling like I have wasted hard earned money.  Buying records on impulse can lead to amazing finds.  It does not always turn out that way (e.g. Behemoth and Strawbs), but then sometimes it is incredible.  This is one of those incredible times.



Here is the story: My wife and I love to go to estate sales.  We enjoy looking at houses we will never be able to afford and rummaging through dead people’s stuff.  Also, they can be pretty great places to find vinyl.  We found ourselves at an estate sale in Hampton, GA, where the recently deceased homeowner was clearly a little old lady, and staring at a large box of vinyl that had been shoved in the corner of the garage.  The albums were typical of little old lady estate sales; lots of Andy Williams, Southern Gospel, and Christmas music.


Then, I saw this record.

“Japan To Nashville?  What is this?” I said to myself.


The back of the album answered those questions for me.  Shoji Tabuchi is a Japanese born violin virtuoso that grew up with an affinity for Country Music.  So, he moved to Nashville.


And to top it off, the record is autographed!  How much did I pay for this amazing find?




Japan To Nashville is straight up bluegrass.  It is 16 minutes of pickin’ and grinnin’ fit for the front porch of a cabin in Pigeon Forge.  It reminds me of sitting in the music pavilion at the apple festival in Ellijay, GA.  This record is all instrumental and absolutely fantastic.  Shoji is simply amazing.  His fiddling prowess is akin to Bob Wills and Charlie Daniels.



Japan To Nashville has such a short run time that it leaves you wanting more.  Thank God that estate sale had another album from Shoji Tabuchi.

Country Music My Way has two distinct types of music on it.  Part of this record is barn-burning, fiddle-driven, bluegrass-leaning country music.  The instrumentals are more full sounding than the music on Japan To Nashville and they have a more polished feel to them.  The bluegrass is less porch front free-for-all and more of studio quality musicians cutting loose.


The other part of this record is almost comical.  It honestly sounds like a Family Guy parody of a Japanese guy singing country music with a heavy accent.  It is awesome and hilarious.



You really can only appreciate it after you have heard it:




Still, these are wonderful additions to my collection.  I will love them as much as that little old lady who loved them enough to want to meet the man and get one of her albums signed.



And, in case you are curious, Shoji still performs.  He has his own theater in Branson.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Donna says:

    What a great article. I have worked at the Shoji Tabuchi Theatre in Branson since 2008. I am sharing your article with Mr. & Mrs. Tabuchi as I know they will appreciate it as much as I did. If you’re ever in Branson, stop by the theatre I’d live to meet you.

    Donna Keigwin
    Shoji Entertainments Inc.


    1. Thank you! I will absolutely let you know the next time I am in your area.


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