East Texas guitar repair shop draws music industry clients from around world

Guitar Repair Shop

TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - A music business in one small East Texas town is hugely popular with heavyweights in the music industry, so much so that they get business from foreign countries.

Almost hidden in the quiet Hawkins downtown is the music store called Action Sound. But it’s known to lots of people in the music industry.

“There’s only one Kelly Barber, thank God. But thank God there is one,” says musician Doyle Dykes.

“People will come in, we do work for them, they tell their buddies; it just took off like wildfire,” said Action Sound owner Kelly Barber.

Barber has sold or repaired instruments for musicians who’ve played with artists like Bob Dylan, Lefty Frizzell, and David Bowie.

And it all started part time.

“I kind of started to do this on the side because there was a need for it,” he says.

Barber is a little modest about his fame. People from all over the world come to his shop to get their instruments repaired.

“We’ve had people in here from Russia, England, Australia, Sweden Switzerland. A gentleman came in and he had this accent. I asked him ‘where are you from?’ He said Australia. And I started singing ‘I come from the land down under’. And he said I was the drummer in that band,” Kelly says, referring to Men At Work.

His reputation is that of excellence, making or repairing instruments that are perfect.

Dykes, a former musician on the television show Hee Haw, says that’s what brings artists to Barber.

“I’ve entrusted some pretty special instruments to Kelly and there aren’t too many people in the world that I would do that with. He knows what he’s doing,” Dykes says.

And some of it is just the welcoming atmosphere.

“They just love hanging out here. It’s fun,” Barber says.

WEBXTRA: Action Sound owner Kelly Barber talks music

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