Arroyo Grande Harvest Festival 2012

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Everyone in attendance reaped the rewards of another beautiful day in Central California. In preparation for the big event, Branch Street, running down the length of Old Town, was closed to through traffic. At 10am sharp the parade began with a loud crack from the barrel of a late 1800’s six-shooter, toted by a sheriff from the typical western town  sauntering down the middle of the road. For a moment a tinge of panic set in, half expecting to look down and see a ball and chain weighted to my ankle, it was with a sigh of relief that I remembered paying those parking tickets.

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Everybody Loves a ZuhG

Sitting on my balcony, trying to find the bright spot in another overcast Pismo Beach day, a seamless synthesis of funk, reggae, and dance flowing from the corner cafe called to me. Plodding, barefoot, down to the Honeymoon Cafe, located on Price Street and Hollister Avenue, revealed an eclectic band who matched the thrown together theme of the establishment note for note. There, the five members of ZuhG were giving themselves to the overwhelming rhythm of their efforts. The band, founded in Sacramento fours years ago, was making their way through the first half of their set. Bryan Nicholes, lead singer and lead guitar, said they were in the very early stages of the first leg of their nation wide tour. Bryan, answering with a sense of relief and accomplishment, said finding venues and setting up dates took about four months – all the band members agreed it felt good to finally hit the road after all the build up. They kicked off their tour four days ago, playing their first gig in Santa Cruz. When asked, if anything, the members of ZuhG missed back at home, Bryan mentioned his nine year old lab/german shepherd mix, who he got in front of a grocery store. “We have a school bus we take on tour sometimes” he said, “and when we take that he comes along with us.” Most of the band members are tattooed with the band’s logo – not to be outdone, 33 rabid fans have also branded themselves in a show of loyalty and camaraderie. Despite the gloom, a bright spot was found amongst those eating, drinking, and dancing at Honeymoon Cafe.

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