A big warm and heartfelt "Hello" to all you beautiful people. Hope these words find you well, warm, happy and peaceful.
This edition has had a few goes before I could cyber it out to you and just like roasting a new coffee, recording a new song, writing poetry or just sending a boring email, I've rewritten and changed it that many times, I thought at one stage it wasn't going to see the light of day. And 'shining light' in some respect, is the theme of this particular love letter or blog... whichever steams your veggies.
Okay, so I'm doing downtime in my bean cave and I'm listening to Johnny Cash...
The song is 'Get Rhythm'...
It's being played on my spunky new turntable which, I am promised by the bearded dude with super slicked back ponytail at the Hi Fi store, will deliver incredible sounds of the like of which my previous turntable just couldn't deliver.
So my anticipative ears and I pull out an original 'Sun Record' 45rpm the one with the big hole in the middle of the record. Johnny Cash as expected nails it and so does the sound of the new turntable. I am so blown away how something so simple, so basic and so old can sound so damn bloody good again!!
I'm loving the song and the warmth coming from the sound of an original vinyl record. What really grabbed me particularly this time was the actual record itself. It was the 'Sun Record' logo, the rays of sunshine, the brightness of the golden colour of the rays on the record with the musical notes surrounding the disc.
I felt 'bright and happy' just in its presence. I'm thinking 'very appropriate' considering the song playing was 'Get Rhythm when you get the Blues'
The other irony is that this particular song, which we all know was a huge hit for JR Cash, was in this instance the 'Side B' song on the single!! (To satisfy your curiosity, the Side A song is 'I Walk The Line'... I know, like you, I'm thinking it would've been a pretty tough call for Sam Phillips, the owner of Sun Records, to have had to make that decision at the time! Either way he wasn't going to go wrong with two songs like that!!) I digress. Back to the story, 'Get Rhythm' prompted a reaction in me literally 'out of the blues' so to speak.
This is a shout out to all our sisters and brothers who just can't seem to get that rhythm when they get the blues. The blues that get so serious that their alternatives can become devastatingly tragic.
So here I am as a happy little coffee roaster thinking to myself what can I do to help shine a light on this subject in order that those suffering can find their light and rhythm again?
I felt compelled to come up with something new and bright and so created a new coffee blend ( seriously what did you expect... a new song???). I named this new coffee 'SIDE B. The Alternative Blend'. My thinking here is along the lines of Side Bs aren't usually the songs played often and listened too so just like when one suffers from depression, it's seems like something that just doesn't get talked about... do you get my rhythm??
I also took, you will all notice, the very obvious liberty and opportunity to tip my humble hat to the great 'Sun Record Company', via the very deliberate associative use of their iconic logo style. It was this 'Sun' 45rpm record that initially prompted me and so, I duly felt a moral obligation to include the logo style of 'Sun Records' as the label for my new 'Side B' coffee blend, however in this case I've used 'blue' rays instead of gold to highlight the blues. May I add at this point that it is purely coincidental that AOE's corporate colours are blue and white which has been since being established back in 1999.
I hereby also declare that I created this label with all intent and purpose purely and utterly out of deep respect... for the Sun Record Company and for all those loved ones who sadly suffer from mental health issues.
Once Side B is released, AOE is committing a perpetual donation of $1 of every cup sold and $5 of every kg sold, whether retail or wholesale, to the Hilltops Suicide Prevention Network.
Side B will be the official coffee of our in house initiative, 'Human Beans For Peace Foundation', the AOE charity for local and international fundraising. Side B will become a permanent blend in the AOE family of coffees and I plan to enter it in some upcoming competitions so we hope it can also become a 'hit' on its own merit... stay tuned.
I will, together with the Hilltops SPN and the Young Shire Council, officially release Side B on September 1st, 2015. I feel it totally appropriate that we should release this special coffee on the first day of Spring, as it typifies the change of season in it's true glory. Spring for me conjures images of brightness, warmth, renewal and of course sunshine.
On September 1st, you will all receive a message of Side B's official release with taste notes and opportunity to purchase this amazing new coffee and the coffee will also become available online.
From early cupping, I can assure you this is an incredible new coffee blend which has taken us all here pleasantly by surprise. It's simplicity is very similar to the Johnny Cash tune.
So on occasion it pays to have a listen to Side B. It may just be the cue towards saving a loved one because when you truly think about it, the song itself may not be all that bad after all!!
Speaking of The Blues, Saturday night 22nd August sees The Espresso Sessions Detours play host to Abbe May... Live and electric as part of Abbe's regional tour which has only four dates being in Darwin, Newcastle, Canberra and of course Young!!!
Coming from the very rich indie blues music scene of WA, we feel so damn incredibly privileged to be hosting Abbe May, who was also nominated at the World Music Awards for Worlds Best Female Artist. Abbe May will be sampling some newbies from her very much anticipated new record, 'Bitchcraft' and playing some old cracking tunes which set her up in the early days.
I guarantee you, it's a voice you will not easily forget!
And whatever you do, don't call her a Rock Chick because that she ain't!! A talented and alternative Australian independent, Blues and roots, doom pop, goth n blues artist, Abbe May was born in a small town, educated under the spell of organised religion and maturing in the spotlight of rock n roll. The Perth songwriter and blues tinged afficionado, takes her artistic cues from the original rock n roll community.
She is an artist that cannot be accurately described but gives intense unforgettable performances with an unmistakeable sex appeal and dynamic vocal which at times comes across as dirty and flirty. In fact Drum Media Magazine (Aust) puts it simply..."Hands down ,Perth blues rocker Abbe May has the best female voice in Australia".
Tix are only $40 which includes a light meal.
So folks, that to me is serious... and you can catch Abbe LIVE and flirty next Saturday night. I can only say with a hand full of tix left... you (AB)BE THERE!!!
Meanwhile at 35 'Exile On' Main St., I'd like to take this opportunity to wish a sincere and heartfelt farewell to our very own kitchen rock chick 'Sweet' Caroline. Caroline Dowling literally changed the food scene here at AOE HQ and for that we are so grateful. Caroline will be leaving the AOE band and going solo but we will continue to support her as she will continue to be the ‘in house’ caterer for us here at AOE as an independent act! We all would like to wish Caroline all the very best in her new solo venture.
We also welcome to the AOE family our new Bar manager,Tempe Fraser. Tempe is the new face in the bar and has already shown incredible commitment to her role and smashing out some amazing coffees with flair.
The team is slowly but surely coming together nicely as we also welcome back our original front man Brad Rendall. Congratulations also to Jacalyn and Luke on the safe arrival of little Johnny.
Let me tell you, this AOE team has really had to endure some challenging months lately which has seen some of our young guns such as Kristy and Luke really come to the front line and show that they are truly AOE blood worthy. To say that I was impressed is an understatement... these guys together with the consistently improving new barista/sound man, Henry, truly relaid the foundations of quality espresso and commitment in the bar. There were some moments where the amps seemed a little fuzzy and out of tune, but the high standard of espresso coffee was always at the forefront and the jam just kept rolling.
So to you team...Gabrielle and I salute you!!
And most importantly to you, the true believers of AOE culture and spirit, I THANK YOU! It is this continued show of support, faith and feedback that keeps our Sun shining, our amps plugged in, our team and families motivated and the Abbe Mays of the music world wanting to take 'detours' !!
We Salute You!
As the great non violent guru, Ghandi once said.."Be the change you want to see"
So Get Rhythm.