Our Inspiration for the Southpaw Blend
The Southpaw Blend is a medium roasted coffee that incorporates notes of caramel, chocolate, and citrus. This blend was one of the first coffees created by the Silver Cup roasters. After many different renditions and alternative mixes of beans, Southpaw is perfected from a combination of beans from Colombia, Central America, South America, Africa, and the Indo-Pacific. At Fulcrum we are all about sharing stories that allow our customers and readers to discover and learn something new, like our roasters did with this blend. Read our Southpaw Blend inspired story about the uncommon and ground-breaking guitarists of Seattle.
Out of Left Field
Seattle, Washington. A place of the far Left Coast. The country began on the other side of the continent. However, Americans have always had itchy feet, and have been in low with the idea of frontiers, virgin lands, and a divinely-inspired push to move Over There.
All this innate rambling led pioneers across the belly of the land until they reached a place with mountains and water. Why go further? The cusp of the country attracted the eccentrics and artists, people who saw the rest of the nation as being a step removed. The residents of the Pacific Northwest were the ones who had wanted to always go further. Two left-handed guitarists picked up their six strings and changed the way that people had listened to music. Jimi Hendrix was a jumpy kid who grew up in cheap hotels and apartments around Seattle. One day he was helping his dad clean trash at an old lady’s house. He found a mostly-broken ukulele in the garbage. The old lady let him keep it. Kid Hendrix pinked out Elvis songs one note at a time.
He bought his first guitar at age fifteen for five bucks. He found that playing the blues was a good outlet for his nerves. In his teens, he could be found at any given time noodling out pentatonic scales and melodies, creating unending streams of music. He wanted to create a musical experience. He played the guitar upside-down on the left so that he could solo on the smaller top strings.
Kurt Cobain was a kid who crawled out of the woods of Aberdeen – a logging town. The type of place where a creative artist would be shunned at best. The boy had a voracious ear. He listened to everything that came down the rock and roll pipeline before him: Sabbath, AC/DC, GNR, The Beatles, Led Zepplin, Aerosmith. He gobbled these up and synthesized them into something new. Something raw, ragged, and infused with his own brand of howling backwoods angst and punk rock ethos. He picked up a guitar and played it left-handed. It was what felt right. It is one hundred percent not hyperbole to say that these two Seattle-based guitarists rewrote their genre.
Hendrix and Cobain crawled and ripped their way to the edge of what could be done. Both artists left a high watermark, a standard by which all the following artists had to measure themselves. They changed the game of rock and roll because they didn’t believe it was a game. They didn’t know how else to live on the crazy edge of the continent where the deck was stacked.
Music was the way out of divey motels and the way out of a dumpy logging town. Music took them further. And they took the rest of us with them.