Peter Matthew Baur : Mount Qaf
Like many, I was disappointed in 2013 to read about the decision by the band The Walkmen to take a break from making any new music or touring. The perennial indie rockers held a permanent & beloved section of my shelf that was hopeful for many more albums as they continued to evolve from their frantic punk inspired roots into poppier & accessible rock. News quickly spread that Walkmen members would be pursuing solo careers, including multi-instrumentalist Peter Baur. With minimal involvement vocally in The Walkmen and seemingly always jumping from organ to bass to guitar, song by song, there were few hints of the sound that a solo record from Baur would bring. On a regular dark & frigid Maine night in February of 2015, up the street from Tandem Coffee Roasters, Baur played a solo show in a barely lit furniture builder's wood shop to a crowd of maybe 25 people. The music was raw, accessible, energetic and wholly something new and different from anything The Walkmen had ever produced. Building off the momentum of Liberation!, Mount Qaf delivers worldly rocking songs about love, fortune, illusion, and redemption. YOU ARE GOING TO LOVE IT.
Amado Fernandez - Santa Barbara, Honduras
Santa Barbara, Honduras, is a really special place. This coffee-producing region is made up of a series of hillside towns, each with a tight-knit community of specialty coffee producers working to improve their quality and sustainability. Amado Fernandez grows coffee on 3.7 hectares at 1550 masl in the town of Las Flores in Santa Barbara. Amado’s farm was inherited from his father, also named Don Amado—when he passed away, he divided his farm up among his four sons. The Fernandez brothers share facilities and expertise, but they own much of their own equipment and process their lots separately. They also have a KILLER view of Lake Yojoa. Amado’s coffee this year is pretty stunning and complex with notes of sweet vanilla, hibiscus, concord grape and peach.