A wide selection of music is spread across the counter at Maggie Denman’s Boneset Records. The store, located in the basement of a building at the corner of East Johnson and North streets, opened August 21 and is the latest addition to Madison’s vinyl scene.


To reach the city’s new record store, customers walk on patio tiles laid on the grass between the sidewalk and an open door on East Johnson Street, about 15 yards west of North Street.

Follow the garland of lights and go down two flights. It’s where, in a windowless space, Maggie Denman has created a sanctuary for virtually all ages and musical tastes.

B-Side Records moves but stays on State Street; Sugar Shack Records closes but former employee acquires remaining inventory for new store

The bins and shelves of his Boneset Records are filled with vinyl records, cassettes and compact discs containing the music of, among others, Steve Winwood, Percy Faith, Johannes Brahms, Motley Crue, flugelhorn player Chuck Mangione and Kitten Forever , a Minneapolis feminist punk trio. There are also movies on VHS and DVD tape, and an L-shaped couch with a plush Gizmo from the 1984 movie “Gremlins.”

Boneset Records

The entrance to Boneset Records is on the East Johnson Street side of a building on the corner of North Street.


On Sunday, Denman had a brat punk album on the turntable, but he followed it up with “John Denver’s Greatest Hits” while the movie “High Fidelity” silently flickered on the TV above the cash register.

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For Denman, 32, it could be seen as an escape. But it’s also the start of what she hopes will one day lead to more retail space and a source of income that will allow her to quit her day job working in customer service from home. For starters, Boneset Records, which opened August 21, is only open Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

“My main goal is a cozy, comfortable, welcoming vibe,” Denman said. “It’s a happy place.”

Boneset Records

A customer passes through the vinyl bins at Boneset Records in Madison. The store has about 3,000 titles on the sales floor, but another 6,000 in storage.


Denman’s media collection stems from his former boss, Gary John Feest, who closed his Sugar Shack Records in April after a 41-year run. Feest, whose store was full of titles, gave Denman, an employee of the store for 10 years, about 9,000 albums, cassettes, CDs, VHS tapes and DVDs in exchange for cleaning out her Atwood Avenue store.

The former Sugar Shack space is being renovated for the new Table Wine location, while Boneset’s opening is the latest in a series of record store moves across the city.

Steve Manley, owner of B-Side Records on State Street since 2007, announced in April that his store, which opened in 1983, would move to a larger space at 514 State St. which currently houses a tattoo shop. The five-year lease of the 1,200 square foot space will mean more space for customers, provide valuable storage and ensure vinyl still has a place in the city’s downtown core.

B-side discs

B-Side Records, 436 State St., has been part of the downtown shopping landscape since 1982 and is the only remaining music store on State Street. It will move later this month to a larger location a block from State Street.

barry adams | Wisconsin State Journal

Manley expects to be open in its new space in about three weeks and hopes to be closed for up to three or four days during the transition.

“All I can say is I want to be closed for as few days as possible,” Manley said Wednesday.

sugar shack discs

Gary John Feest, owner of Sugar Shack Records, sorts through bins of records in early May, just days after his brick-and-mortar business on Atwood Avenue closed. Feest, who has been in the record store business since 1981, continues to sell online. About 9,000 of his tracks are now on Boneset Records.


On the city’s Far West Side, Preplayed announced the closure of its store at 7610 Mineral Point Road after 18 years of selling used music, movies and video games. The company had a store for years at 3868 E. Washington Ave., but last fall the store was sold to Mega Media XChange, a company with three other locations in the Milwaukee area.

Other notable local Madison-area record stores include Strictly Discs, 1900 Monroe St.; Mad City Music, 2023 Atwood Ave; JiggyJamz Vinyl & CDs, 1734 Fordem Ave.; and The Door, a shop at 4905 Monona Drive specializing in metal, punk, hard rock and progressive rock.

Boneset Records

Boneset Records holds a wide range of music on vinyl, compact disc and cassette. It also houses movies on VHS and DVD and sells vintage clothing.


Denman always dreamed of having her own boutique, but Feest’s retirement allowed her to start her business a few years earlier than she had planned. The shop is named after the 2014 album “Boneset” by Diane Cluck, a modern folk artist from Virginia who some have compared to a mix of Aaron Neville and Joni Mitchell.

“I’m slowly taking things out as things sell out because I don’t have a lot of retail space,” Denman said. “It’s more of a side hustle, but the thing is, it’s the start of doing more. It’s kind of in its infancy.”

Boneset Records

Maggie Denman named her shop Boneset Records after an album by Diane Cluck, a modern folk artist from Virginia. Denman worked at Sugar Shack Records on Atwood Avenue for 10 years and uses much of the inventory at his company’s store, which opened Aug. 21.


After graduating from La Follette High School, Denman attended Madison Area Technical College, then transferred to UW-Madison where she earned a fine arts degree. Her mother, Deanna Denman, said her daughter, who plays alto, guitar and bass and has always had varied musical tastes, attended a Paul Simon concert when she was 16 and played in a variety of bands, from acoustic to hardcore punk. In October 2020, Deanna was further exposed to her daughter’s tastes when the duo took a road trip to Jackson, Wyoming. Maggie made the playlists for the trip.

Boneset Records

One of Maggie Denman’s recent customers was her mother, Deanna Denman, left, who bought a mix of music on vinyl and cassette.


“It was just everywhere,” Deanna Denman said. “I just think it’s great for her to follow her dreams.”

When Feest closed her shop, Maggie Denman was forced to move her inventory to a warehouse, and then a few months later, when her lease started, to her current space.

Boneset Records

A customer looks at tape selections at Boneset Records, located in the basement of a building at the corner of East Johnson and North streets on the east side of Madison. The store has over 3,000 titles in a variety of formats.


Boneset, next to Sig’s Treasure Chest, an 1980s and 1990s resale shop and opposite Dexter’s Pub, also has a few shelves of vintage clothing, some from Denman and some from Return to Odd owner Hillary Gunn. a Milwaukee-based resale store. So far, Denman is pleased with the response from customers who walk around the neighborhood, shop at Sugar Shack, or find her on Instagram.

“Because my tastes are all over the place, I wanted it to be a very curated selection,” Denman said. “There’s a lot of organization that goes along with that, but I still have a lot to do.”

“Since my tastes are all over the place, I wanted it to be a very curated selection.”

Maggie Denmanowner of Boneset Records