Nestled in the heart of the historical and vibrant town of Wedowee, Alabama, Bel Air Guitar Company is not just a store – it’s a celebration of Americana and musical excellence. Our doors open to a world where the harmony of music meets the elegance of style, offering high-quality, American-made instruments, bespoke leather goods, chic clothing, and unique gifts.
At the core of Bel Air Guitar Company is James “Barry” Waldrep, a seasoned musician, a lifelong resident of Alabama, and the heart and soul behind our curated collection. Barry’s journey in music is as rich and diverse as the products on our shelves. Known for his virtuosity on the acoustic guitar, electric guitar, mandolin, and banjo, Barry’s repertoire spans across Bluegrass, Jam Band, and Americana genres.
Co-founding the Alabama-based bluegrass/jam band Rollin’ in the Hay in 1993, Barry kickstarted a journey of musical exploration and excellence. The band, originally a side project, blossomed into a full-time endeavor, touring extensively and producing seven CDs over 16 years. During this time, Barry also recorded 21 bluegrass tribute albums for CMH Records, paying homage to icons like Eric Clapton, The Black Crowes, and Neil Diamond.
His collaboration with stars didn’t stop there. In 2009, he joined Zac Brown on the Breaking Southern Ground Tour and was featured on the Zac Brown Band’s “Pass The Jar” CD/DVD, sharing the stage with artists like Kid Rock and Little Big Town. He’s graced the stages of the Grand Ole’ Opry and the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, blending his music with the legends of these iconic venues.
Barry’s solo career and collaborations are a testament to his versatility and passion. His project “Smoke From the Kitchen,” a fusion of bluegrass banjo and southern rock, included collaborations with members from the Rolling Stones, the Allman Brothers, and more. His band, described as a “Southern Culture Revival,” reflects his deep-rooted love for Southern sounds, blending Bluegrass, Jazz, Southern Rock, and Gospel.
At Bel Air Guitar Company, Barry brings this rich musical heritage to you. Every guitar, every leather strap, and every piece of clothing is selected with the discernment of a musician who has lived and breathed the industry. We’re more than a store; we’re a gateway to the world of music that Barry has experienced. Join us in this journey, and immerse yourself in a shopping experience where every chord strikes a story, and every item has its own rhythm.
Barry is also the owner of the largest banjo store in the world, Banjo.com.
Welcome to Bel Air Guitar Company – where music meets style, and heritage meets craftsmanship.