Slap on some sunscreen and slip on your dancing shoes as you prepare for this weekend’s Central Coast showcase at Vina Robles Amphitheatre in Paso Robles.
Americana quartet Moonshiner Collective will headline Sunday’s concert, which features standout acts from San Luis Obispo and Sonoma counties. The group will be joined on stage by alternative rock band Girls & Boys, funk band Captain Nasty, Afro-Caribbean dance band Zongo All-Stars and reggae band The Kicks.
Percussion group Samba Loca, which shares some members with Captain Nasty, will entertain concertgoers during intermissions.
The concert coincides with the 33rd annual Paso Robles Wine Festival, which runs today through Sunday.
Here’s the inside scoop on three of the local groups performing Sunday at Vina Robles.
“You’d be under the stars just drinking whiskey and playing music,” recalled Curcio, best known locally as the former lead singer and guitarist of Still Time. That band split up in 2012.
Since then, Curcio has been searching for a new group that could help him recapture the “collective chills” he once experienced with Still Time.
“There would be these cathartic moments where you’d just feel like, ‘Wow, everybody in the room is on the same page …’” the Arroyo Grande resident said. “The audience and ourselves were totally in sync.”
Curcio brought aboard Atascadero drummer Ryan House a year and a half ago. Together, the two recorded the 2014 album “Let Go,” which pays tribute to the Central Coast.
“We live in one of the most beautiful places on the planet, so a lot of our album … is about this area and Big Sur,” Curcio said. “It’s about getting outside, enjoying our surroundings and being a community setting where everybody comes from very different walks of life but is there for a common experience …”
Curcio liked the way he and House sounded — “We were trying to do a Black Keys-meets-Ben Harper duo with electric guitar and drums,” he said — but he craved a richer, fuller sound.
Violinist/keyboardist Daniel Cimo joined Moonshiner Collective six months ago, followed by his brother, bassist/guitarist Vince Cimo, two months ago. The brothers, who live in San Luis Obispo, also provide backup vocals.
Curcio describes Moonshiner Collective’s sound as “California-based Americana and groove rock” with bluegrass and folk elements. The quartet is gearing up to record an album at Speak Studios in San Luis Obispo.
“From day one, the goal (has been) to put out positive music,” Curcio said. “Music has the ability to bring a bunch of people together in celebration. To me, that’s music’s greatest power.”
Nine-piece funk band Captain Nasty knows how to party.
“We like to have fun,” lead singer Shawna Marie said. “We definitely love making songs that get the crowd dancing and moving and having a good time.”
The brainchild of drummer Graham Yates, Captain Nasty got its start in the spring of 2012 as a saxophone-centered jazz combo at Cuesta College.
According to Marie, the group’s name references a term used in the funk music world — “nasty,” meaning “abrasive,” “super-raw” or “a player that’s throwing down really hard.” “It’s a positive adjective,” she explained.
Marie, a Morro Bay High School graduate, joined the band in September 2013 shortly after moving back to the area after an absence of 10 years.
“All I knew was I wanted to be behind the microphone on the stage singing,” said Marie, who enrolled at Cuesta and began her vocal studies.
Despite her lack of experience, she clicked with Captain Nasty immediately.
“We joke and say it was this perfect storm,” Marie said. “There are all these players who are not only amazing players … but they’re also amazing friends. I feel super-blessed to have become a part of that.”
The band’s current lineup includes Grant Chase on keyboards, Keegan Harshman on bass, Blake Ehoff on percussion, Larry Shaun Fairfield on guitar and Mike Weber, Anthony Donatelli and Sam Franklin on saxophone. Geographically, they’re spread across Los Osos, Paso Robles, San Luis Obispo and the Nacimiento Lake area.
Captain Nasty plays a mix of original tunes such as “St. Patrick’s Day” and “Blood Type: Party” and covers such as “Mr. Big Stuff” by Jean Knight and “Seven Nation Army” by The White Stripes.
The band has an as-yet-untitled album in the works; recording at Sutton Sound Studio in Atascadero began last July.
“In the end, it’s about … bringing people together,” said Marie, who considers each concert a healing experience. “It’s about being together with your friends … and really enjoying life and enjoying each other.”
Reese Galido grew up singing jazz standards. So how did she end up leading a roots reggae band?
“When I got to college, I got into the older school reggae and rock steady stuff that was coming out of Jamaica,” explained the San Luis Obispo resident, who sings and plays rhythm guitar in The Kicks. That sound, and the socio-political message that came with it, stuck with her.
Galido graduated from Cal Poly in 2003 with a bachelor’s degree in business. The Kicks were founded the same year.
“We were just a garage band that moved into a living room band,” Galido said, before landing their first real gig at Frog and Peach Pub in San Luis Obispo several years ago. The current lineup — which features Michael Clair on lead guitar, Jimmy Gahan on keyboards, Michael Galtress on saxophone, Michael Jimenez on bass, Tim Cordero on drums and Micah Brachman on trumpet— goes back five or six years.
“It’s the San Luis way,” Galido said. “One of the things I love about (this town) is how much the local musicians push each other and help each other get big.”
While The Kicks have always focused on fun, they’ve grown more interested in serious subject material in recent years.
The Kicks’ latest album, “Soulspeak,” due out this summer, “deals with the social issues that are affecting our families and our health,” said Galido, the band’s primary songwriter. “We want to use music as more of a vehicle to get into people’s heads and change their hearts.”
The song “Make Up Your Mind” addresses how “the media shapes the way we talk about our world,” Galido said, while the track “Starving” touches on a collective craving for “something real.”
“It’s some of the strongest writing I’ve done in a long time,” she said. “People who listen to reggae are pretty receptive to the message.”
Central Coast showcase
1 to 6 p.m. Sunday, doors open at noon
Vina Robles Amphitheatre, 3800 Mill Road, Paso Robles
227-4812 or www.vinaroblesamphitheatre.com