I’ve had this blog idea brewing for a few years now, and I have always intended on starting it with a bad coffee pun.

As many people do, I grew up not necessarily enjoying coffee, but learning to love it over the course of several years. It started with Folgers + honey at a solid 1:1 ratio, and grew through lattes into straight black cups of delicious, life-giving coffee. Fortunately, during the time my affection for this warm beverage was growing I was spending a majority of my life on tour surrounded by a lot of coffee loving humans (most notably @_davidpuckett). That lead me to spending a majority of my down time in coffee shops around the United States, Canada and Europe over the course of several years.

I would describe myself as a very average coffee drinker, a caramel latte is my bevvy of choice aside from a classic black cup of coffee. And I found myself constantly searching for unbiased coffee opinions by average individuals when I was in new cities. So, I decided I was going to order a caramel latte (or plain latte if the shop didn’t offer caramel) and rate all of the coffee shops I went to over the course of my final year of touring.

If you find yourself traveling I hope this can help you make some decisions and assist you on the path to caffeinated righteousness.



Madcap - Grand Rapids, MI - 10/10 (Favorite latte in the world)

The Bunker - Tampa, FL - 9

Fosko Coffee - Pensacola,  FL - 5

The Blind Tiger - Tampa, FL - 6

Joule Coffee & Table - Raleigh, NC - 9.5 (Now Closed, RIP)

Shockoe Espresso - Richmond, VA - 5

The White Hart Cafe - Lynchburg, VA - 4

Dancing Goats - Atlanta, GA - 7

Crema - Nashville, TN - 8

Square One - Lancaster, PA - 7.5

Fox in the Snow - Columbus, OH - 5

Mission Coffee - Columbus, OH - 7

Fire Creek - Flagstaff, AZ - 9

Yellow House Coffee - Lubbock, TX - 9

Craftwork - Ft. Worth, TX - 9.5

Hideout Coffee - Austin, TX - 8

Ahh Coffee - Houston, TX - 8

Chimera - Tulsa, OK - 8

Zendo - Albuquerque, NM - 4

Cartel - Tucson, AZ - 8

Coeur - Spokane, WA - 8

Bellwether - Denver, CO - 9

New Harvest Coffee - Pawtucket, RI - 9



Fenster - Berlin, Germany - 9 Cortado*

The Old Crown - Birmingham, UK - 9

Koko - Amsterdam, Netherlands - 10

Kaffeerosterei BRUHBAR - Leipzig, Germany - 7



Esquina - Montreal, CAN - 7

Manic Coffee - Toronto, CAN - 9.5


Also, shoutout to Starbucks for providing me a consistently average cup of coffee whether I was in Iowa or Argentina. You the real MVP.


060417 - Heavy Riffing with Game of Tones & Halo Merus 7

This is the first of a series of videos I'm going to be making that displays some of my favorite gear that keeps me inspired and reaching for my guitar.

I'm always looking for profiles that have the growl and bite you get when you're running through an actual tube amp. A lot of profiles and modelers fall short, they sound fizzy and weak, but this profile immediately caught my attention with the amount of aggression I was able to get from it. You can grab these profiles right now at www.kingsoundstudio.com

The other factor in that equation is the Halo Merus 7. I absolutely love this guitar, it's a stock model available right now at www.haloguitars.com, and the specs look like this:

Scale Length: 27"
Body: Ash with Quilted Maple Top & Back
Neck: 5 Piece Walnut / Maple
Fretboard: Birds Eye Maple
Bridge: Evertune 7
Pickups: Bareknuckle Juggernauts
Tuning: Drop A#

Last but not least, Impact Studios Inferno Bass is handling the low end in this track, and it is absolutely a game changer if you're looking to program bass and have it sounding killer right out of the gate. 

Available at: www.impact-studios.com

011217 : NORTHARY 2017

It's a new year, and with that comes more goals, bigger dreams, and tax season. This blog is going to become a semi-regular thing for me here, where I'll post ramblings and photos and videos and other things that I haven't thought of yet.

If you're here, I appreciate you and I'm thankful that you've taken some time to look into this adventure that I call Northary. If you don't know me, I'm Jim, I've been growing my hair for much longer than is socially acceptable, and spent most of the last 5 years driving around in a van headbanging with strangers. I also sit in a lot of coffee shops and design shirts for some of my favorite bands, and occasionally they let me record their music as well. Design and recording are the things I'm most passionate about, and I think it's rare that people get a chance to truly follow their dreams, so I'm embracing it as much as I possibly can, and I'm eternally thankful for this life.

Here's a quick highlight reel of work and whatnot from 2016.

That's it for post #1 - more to come.

Love and kindness,