Sam Stinson’s Salt Lake City studio is overflowing with records. When visitors walk in, they’re greeted with a wall of LPs, and a luckier few get to see his back room, which is stocked floor to ceiling with music from every genre you could imagine. Stinson’s huge collection would be the envy of enthusiasts of any genre, but for decades he has taken a special liking to soul.
“I can never remember what the first record I bought was, but I definitely remember when I got into funk and soul,” says Stinson, occasionally known as DJ Feral Cat. His knowledge of music is vast and impressive—likely because his father is Randy Stinson, owner of Randy’s Records. Stinson was born just before the shop opened, and he doesn’t remember a time when records weren’t a part of his life.
“Growing up, I was raised by someone who had collected records, and as I was working for my dad, I realized, ‘Hey, this music’s cool.’ ”
Stinson’s upbringing and experiences at his father’s record store are what ultimately inspired him to bring soul music to Salt Lake City. His beginnings as a DJ were humble—his first experience was a nonpaid gig at a church dance—but he eventually made a name for himself by filling in and working alongside friends.
Saturday Night Soul Stomp, a party of his own invention that has gone by various names since it began, is currently held at Zest Kitchen & Bar.
“It started as just a once-a-month party and it became pretty popular, because there’s nothing like that in Salt Lake,” Stinson says.
Although the night offers plenty for a dedicated music consumer (Stinson is proud to be giving away autographed Sharon Jones and Charles Bradley LPs at the next stomp), at the end of the day, he credits the night’s success to soul music’s timeless accessibility.
“People like it because it’s music that they can relate to. People like to hear the stuff they know.”
SATURDAY NIGHT SOUL STOMP
w/DJ Feral Cat
Zest Kitchen & Bar
275 S. 200 West
Saturday, Oct. 5, 9 p.m.