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Buffalo Creek Guitar set to close

Buffalo Creek Guitar Co., a guitar studio at 401 E. Third St. that has cultivated a space for seasoned and budding musicians in the Heart of Virginia for many years, was set to close Thursday after 11 years of operation and service to the community.

Owner and musician Gary Hickman established the business in May 2006.

“What we’ve tried to do here is be a clearinghouse for musicians and encourage young musicians to play, to get started (and) to work out the bugs,” Hickman said. “If you’re not a performing musician, there are not a lot of places to get your music heard.”

Though Hickman and his wife live in Blackstone, he said being in Farmville and at Buffalo Creek has felt like a second home.

“I tell people I sleep in Blackstone, (but) I live over here,” Hickman said.

He said he was inspired to open the store while living in Eureka Springs, Arkansas. He met a man who operated a music repair shop, and Hickman wanted to do the same.

“I told my wife when I get old, I want to do that,” Hickman joked. “Well, I got old.”

Gordon Finney, general manager of WSVS radio station in Crewe, confirmed Hickman will be starting the position of business manager with the station Sept. 4, after Buffalo Creek’s closing.

Finney said Hickman would be in charge of billing for the station and the program logs, which determines the commercials the radio station is set to run. In addition, he would also be working with the station’s live weekly bluegrass event, called the High Noon Hoedown, in the historic Flatt and Scruggs venue at the station.

“He’ll be wearing a lot of hats,” Finney said.

“Gary has been a friend of the station for a good long while and a real leader in the live music industry around Southside Virginia,” Finney said, adding Hickman has visited the station to help with live music events often. “We’re thrilled to have him come and fill a role for us.”

Hickman said he’d had interaction with the radio station for several years when they recently offered him the position.

“Things just sort of evolved,” Hickman said.

Hickman said that while he will be working at the station, he will also continue being involved with the music scene in Farmville, continuing to head the weekly Open Mic events held at Uptown Coffee Café on Thursdays.

He is currently working to sell the Buffalo Creek building.

“(I’ll) continue to try to stay plugged into Farmville as much as possible,” Hickman said. “(I’ve) met many wonderful friends and some of the best musicians around.”

Hickman said he is a songwriter and plays a blend of bluegrass, Americana — a type of music genre Hickman described as a more acoustic form of country — and numerous other genres.