MOUNT HOLLY, N.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) — If the hum of the machinery or the music sounds aren’t enough to make you curious, the name itself usually does the trick.
“They look up at the sign and say, ‘What’s a mouthpiece?’” Greg Black said.
Greg’s Black Mouthpieces shop has been in downtown Mount Holly since 2014. They are a big name in music because they work in small increments.
“Trumpets, trombones, tuba,” Ben Strickland said. “We make mouthpieces for all brass instruments.”
Ben is Greg’s business partner. The two create mouthpieces for everyone, from middle school kids to music industry legends.
“We do encounter some musicians, some superhumans like Rasawhn Ross, from Dave Matthews band; he can feel a thousandth of a difference,” Ben said.
“It was an honor to do work for Dizzy Gillespie. Rashawn Ross,” Greg said.
But the most influential musician in Greg’s life is someone whose faded handwriting decorates the corner of his shop.
“I still see a lot of his writing on certain aspects back in the shop,” Greg said.
That writing belongs to the longtime Mount Holly Band director and his dad, Robert Black.
“He took all those and wrote on the little tabs on the drawers,” said Greg. “They’re faded a little bit. It’s been a while since he did that, but I can still see and read them.”
Robert passed away 15 years ago. He never saw his son’s shop in downtown.
“I’m always grounded realizing where I am,” Greg said.
Aside from the curious passersby, other visitors pop into the shop. They’re often former students, telling Greg how his dad changed their life.
“It’s good to be home,” Greg said.