Byron Myhre was hosting band practice outside of Myhre’s Music in Edmonton when his bandmates pointed out that his cell phone location services registered his music store as “Home” and his actual home in Sherwood Park as “Work.”
Home. Byron Myhre has considered Myhre’s Music on 118th Avenue his home for nearly his entire life. Established in 1967, Myhre’s Music was opened by Byron’s father, fiddle legend Alfie Myhre and remains the oldest music store in Edmonton. After spending so much time at Myhre’s Music (formally Alfie Myhre’s Music), Bryon Myhre’s phone registered his family’s store as his home. It seemed fitting. After all, Byron was introduced to playing music at four years old.
Still, Byron wasn’t always convinced that he would follow in his father’s musical footsteps, despite inheriting his father’s love for bluegrass and fiddle. Shortly after high school, Byron was approached by a local medical supply shop that was impressed by his outgoing personality and dynamic sales abilities. Both of his parents were supportive of his new career path. He sold medical supplies for over a year before returning to work at Myhre’s Music, where he’s been ever since.
Byron hated outside sales and knew he was always meant to work alongside his father. This memory triggered Byron’s ambition to continue Alfie’s legacy. Byron looks back, claiming, “It’s where I need to be— where I want to be,” and adds, “I had a really good example: my dad.”
When Byron was a young adult, he worked at the store with his dad every day until 6, then race out the door. On the other hand, Alfie stayed late every night to repair fiddles or restring a wall of guitars. At the time, Byron had no idea why his father stayed so late at the store and “had no idea how much went into it.”
Byron can’t help but chuckle when his oldest son Tanner has one foot out the door the minute the store is closed. He reminisces about being in his twenties and starting his car as soon as his shift was over, having no idea what was going through his dad’s mind then. There’s a familiar vibration when Tanner asks, “What is my dad doing staying here so late?” that makes Byron feel even more at home.
Despite his parents’ official retirement in 2017, they occasionally appear at the store to play a tune or help balance the accounts.
Like his father, Byron grew up playing bluegrass music and travelled across Western Canada, entering and winning almost every fiddle competition he encountered. Byron played fiddle for a well-known Canadian bluegrass band called Jerusalem Ridge, named after a popular bluegrass song by Bill Monroe, better known as ‘Father Bluegrass’.
Byron humbly credits Myhre’s Music’s success and his personal growth to the loyal customers and friends he’s met through both the store and performing. “I can’t believe people come in here and trust me— they respect me,” Byron adds. Some customers even became employees, but the Myhre’s carefully guard who they let into their family business. More than anything, Byron is grateful for the support from the music community and is thrilled to have his son working alongside him to continue the family legacy.
“I can’t believe I can support my family with this, and everything we have is because of this silly store.”
Myah Juneau is a journalist and photographer in Edmonton, Alberta. Aside from writing, Myah enjoys reading and playing hockey.