Vinyl Nights at The Lakely features Eau Claire native and current Blugold, Mariah Kewin

Local student, Revival Records employee and Pablo Center intern spends free time spinning records and keeping the music community alive in Eau Claire

More stories from Melanie Walleser


Photo by Gabbie Henn

Mariah Kewin spinning records on Vinyl Nights at The Lakely

Collecting records, working at Revival Records, attending classes at UW-Eau Claire and working as an intern at the Pablo Center are just a few ways Eau Claire native and UW-Eau Claire student Mariah Kewin surrounds herself with music.

“Music has just always been a really big part of my life,” Kewin said. “I just really like supporting the arts and small businesses.”

Kewin, a third-year student, first started college as a music education student, but she eventually changed her major after working as House Manager at The State Theatre.

“I originally went into college as a music education major,” Kewin said. “That lasted a semester. Then I got a job at The State Theatre and I thought now this is what I wanna do. I changed my major and I’m sticking with it.”

Kewin is now studying business administration with a music minor and fine arts administration certificate.

Aside from being a full-time student, Kewin currently works two jobs, one at Revival Records and another at the Pablo Center.

“I just really love the local scene,” Kewin said. “It’s just a lot different than working at a corporate place. There’s only a few of us that work at Revival, so I’m pretty close with the owner.”

Billy Siegel, owner of Revival Records, said he’s known Kewin for many years and he’s proud to see how she has grown.

“I’ve known her since she was twelve,” Siegel said. “She started off as a customer of mine and now she’s been my longest-term employee here at the store. When she first started here she was pretty shy and timid. It’s kind of nice to see she’s grown into her own person over the years. She’s a strong-willed young woman. It’s just nice to see her achieving what she set out to do.”

After the closing off The State Theatre, Kewin transferred to the Pablo Center as an intern.

“I started working at the box office and bartending (at the Pablo Center) because they didn’t have enough employees,” Kewin said. “I have my internship here, which I honestly created. Now with my internship, I’m being trained to house manage here.”

On April 4 at The Lakely, Kewin DJ’d at their signature event “Vinyl Nights.”

The event, which takes place every Thursday, offers a new spin on The Lakely’s musical repertoire by bringing in local DJs to work the vinyl, according to The Oxbow Hotel events page.

Kewin said spinning records for Vinyl Nights at the Lakely was fun and she plans to do it again.

Despite being an Eau Claire native, Kewin said she hated Eau Claire when she was growing up but that it has recently grown on her.

“I feel like most people hate their hometown when they’re growing up,” Kewin said. “I definitely did too. I was so dead-set on leaving, but once I came to college here it has grown on me a lot. I love Eau Claire. I definitely feel that being an Eau Claire native makes my experience different, and I feel more connected to the city of Eau Claire than the university itself.”

Kewin said her tentative plan is to stay in the city of Eau Claire after graduating.

“When I graduate I want to eventually run a center like the Pablo,” Kewin said. “My tentative plan is to stay here for a year and work full-time at the Pablo so that I can just get some more experience under my belt, but I do want to move out west and (continue with) this kind of work there.”

While her plans are still up in the air, Kewin said she’s confident about her future.

“I’m at that point where I can’t really plan for five years ahead of me because who knows what’s gonna happen and what’ll pop up?” Kewin said. “Whatever happens, happens. I know I’ll be fine either way.”

Kewin will be spinning records again during Vinyl Nights from 8-11 p.m. on May 2 at The Lakely.

Walleser can be reached at [email protected].