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The beat goes on 

Curcio rises like a phoenix

All things must end, but it was certainly with great sadness that Still Time (formerly Longview), a band that started at Cal Poly but soon was touring the nation, eventually disbanded. Many of us had come to love the Ben Harper-esque sound of the band and its often poignant music, but when one song ends, another begins, and now Still Time front man Dan Curcio is continuing on as Moonshiner, a duo that will play its first show on Friday, Nov. 16, at SLO Brew (8 p.m.; 21-and-older; $10 presale or $12 at the door), with local singer-songwriter Jayson Jones opening.

MOONSHINER! :  Dan Curcio (pictured) and duo-mate Nathan Towne now make up Moonshiner, playing their debut gig featuring looping technology and a video presentation on Nov. 16 at SLO Brew. - PHOTO COURTESY OF DAN CURCIO
  • MOONSHINER! : Dan Curcio (pictured) and duo-mate Nathan Towne now make up Moonshiner, playing their debut gig featuring looping technology and a video presentation on Nov. 16 at SLO Brew.

Still Time and Curcio won Best Band in the New Times Best Of readers poll four years in a row, including this year, after they had broken up, but Curcio has continued on, first recording a solo album called Bonfire before “quietly putting together something he feels is now ready to make some noise,” he says in his bio for Moonshiner.

He’s really settled down, too. After living in a yurt in Cayucos, Curcio bought a house in Arroyo Grande and married his longtime paramour and former tour manager Stephanie.

“It’s been the busiest time of my life, but being on the Central Coast more often than when touring with Still Time has given me an incredible sense of comfort in the Central Coast lifestyle that I hope comes across in the music,” Curcio said. “I want to keep the spirit and vibe of Still Time alive and well while also doing something totally new, and I’ve been working very hard toward this SLO Brew show as the prototype for my future in music.”

Describing his current sound as “soulful and eclectic folk rock that could most closely be compared to artists such as Ben Harper, Van Morrison, Paul Simon, and Eddie Vedder,” he says he “enjoys the juxtaposition of lighter themes of celebration, family, love, relaxation, and nature, with the more intense themes such as timelessness, enlightenment, American greed, spirituality, and religion.” He hopes the new music will leave the listener with a “genuinely warm, hopeful feeling while also provoking thought and ultimately coaxing the listener to relax and appreciate life.”

Curcio adopted his new moniker after his favorite Bob Dylan song, “Moonshiner,” which he feels tells the story of the ramblin' musician type, and his new show includes video projected onto a big screen that he has been preparing with the help of San Francisco-based Rockbridge Productions. For this SLO Brew show, Curcio will be joined on stage by his new band mate Nathan Towne (Bare Feet, Calmenco!), who uses unique percussion instruments such as the Cajon, shaker, and djembe to build intricate live percussion loops before adding guitar, bass, or piano, all while singing harmonies with Curcio.

Expect songs by Moonshiner, Curcio’s solo stuff off of Bonfire, as well as some Still Time songs. The first 100 people through the door will receive a free handmade EP with some Moonshiner songs on it. Come check out this new incarnation of an old favorite!

Before Curcio takes the stage on Friday, SLO Brew kicks of its week with country act Micky & The Motorcars on Thursday, Nov. 15 (7:30 p.m.; 21-and-older; $8 presale or $10 at the door). The Bob Lawrence Band will open the show.

Reggae act The Green returns to the club on Saturday, Nov. 17 (7 p.m.; all ages; $15 presale or $17 at the door), with opening act Natural Vibrations.

And on Tuesday, Nov. 20, prepare yourself for the return of the King of the Surf Guitar, Mr. Dick Dale (7 p.m.; 21-and-older; $25 presale or $27 at the door).

Kindred spirits

Timo Beckwith is a rare talent, an amazing artist and mask maker who’s also a tremendous percussionist; he sings in a language he seems to channel from the ether. Now he’s met someone as eclectic and fascinating as he is.

click to enlarge LIL’ MISS QUIRKY! :  The indie pop stylings of Natalie Angiuli will be on display at Steve Key’s Songwriters at Play showcase on Nov. 18 at Sculpterra Winery. - PHOTO COURTESY OF NATALIE ANGIULI
  • LIL’ MISS QUIRKY! : The indie pop stylings of Natalie Angiuli will be on display at Steve Key’s Songwriters at Play showcase on Nov. 18 at Sculpterra Winery.

“I met Adelaide at the Rise Festival in Big Sur in October and was so moved by her dance that I'm putting together a show with her at Steynberg,” Timo said. “She plays Ashkenaz in Berkeley the next night with Scott Sterling who does amazing Middle Eastern Percussion and Beat Fusion as DRUMSPYDER.”

On Friday, Nov. 16, the Steynberg Gallery will be host to “An Evening of Middle Eastern Tribal Fusion Dance and Music” at 8 p.m. for $10 (call 547-0278 for advance tickets). With Adelaide Marcus front and center, music will be provided by Timo, Andrew Wise, and Mike Stairs.

According to her bio, “Adelaide’s performance is truly a stunning and captivating expression of the beauty, magic, and mystery that is at the very heart and soul of this ancient dance form. She is an extremely diverse and passionate performer who is highly renown[ed] for her work with the Shimmy Sisters. The training Adelaide received from her Syrian mother shows up clearly in the deeply rooted beauty and authenticity of her movement. Be prepared for some surprises! She is also an amazing acrobat, hooper and snake charmer. Adelaide's artistic diversity doesn't stop there. She is also a visionary painter, filmmaker, stilt walker, and fire spinner.”

Sounds like this one might get a little crazy!

It takes a village … and some Ranchers!

Jan Sprague works with her son Danny Chaffin building schools and libraries in the remote villages of the Himalayas.

“We both live in Santa Margarita and travel to Nepal annually to do this,” Sprague said. “What does this have to do with music? I heard Ranchers for Peace play at Live Oak this year, and their music about the plight of the poor, disadvantaged, and social ineptitudes of our world brought tears rolling down my face. Their lyrics hit me in the heart because I knew first-hand what they were singing about. So I asked them if I could teach one of their songs to a group of orphans in Kathmandu we work with.”

The kids at the Buddhist Child Home Orphanage learned the song “Tell All The World.” Now, Sprague said, “we want to build a library in a remote village near Annapurna and in a slum school in Kathmandu.” To help this become a reality, Ranchers for Peace is playing a benefit concert on Sunday, Nov. 18, from 4 to 6 p.m., at Steynberg, where every cent of the $15 tickets will be donated to HANDS in Nepal.

“I am deeply touched by their warm-hearted support of what we are trying to do for these children,” Sprague said.

There will also be a silent auction and Nepali products for sale, such as yak hair blankets and shawls. Learn more about the mission in Nepal at

Take the leap!

Los Osos native Josh Barrett, who until recently lived up in Santa Rosa, wrote me about his great leap of faith: “I’m writing you this time about a band that I co-founded with Brianna Lee three years ago called Girls & Boys. We’ve been playing in San Francisco for three years and have built a good following and have steady gigs. We’ve been starting to travel and have since given up our place in the Bay Area and are officially living on the road!

“We’ve been using SLO as a stop-off point between L.A. and S.F. and have been seeing way too many miles of the 101. Ha ha! We have had the pleasure of having our music featured in film and TV with placements in the upcoming film Divorce Invitation as well as having one of our songs in the Showtime reality series The Real L Word. We have also been fortunate to play the Poster Room at the Fillmore as recently as last week, as well as performances at the Hard Rock Cafe SF, Red Devil Lounge, Park Chalet in Golden Gate Park, as well as an upcoming sold-out show opening for the singer LP at Cafe Du Nord in SF.

“Recently we have been performing more on the Central Coast with gigs at Frog and Peach, Kreuzberg, Sweet Springs, the Steynberg Gallery with Jody Mulgrew as well as a few Songwriters at Play with Emily Wryn. KCPR has our album and is starting to give us airplay as well. We’ve been staying busy and are currently playing as much as possible while writing our second album.

“We are writing to let you know that we’re playing the Frog and Peach on Tuesday, Nov. 20, … for Pint Night. It’s Thanksgiving week, and we are promoting to all of our friends and family as well as all of the people who will be in town visiting and want to get out and play before turkey day!”

Sounds cool, Josh! Thanks for writing my column for me!

The Key to success!

Steve Key’s Songwriters at Play showcases continue to give local and traveling songwriters a chance to expose the masses to their music and share in the camaraderie of working at one of the most underappreciated endeavors an artist can take on: playing music for free.

Why do they do it? It’s love of the song, man.

On Thursday, Nov. 15, Kevin Fisher of the band Naked to the World will headline the SLO Down Pub showcase (6:30 p.m.; all ages; pass the hat). Fisher wrote “Long Slow Beautiful Dance” recorded by Rascal Flatts, “To Be Happy” recorded by Sara Evans, and “Another Love Song” recorded by Uncle Kracker, making him a multi-platinum-selling songwriter! As usual, several other songwriters will perform short, four-song sets.

On Saturday, Nov. 17, Key’s showcase makes a stop at Laetitia Winery in a show called “Triple Bill of Tremendous Talent on Tap,” and featuring co-headliners Phil Salucci, Bruce Goldish, and Valerie Johnson & Al B Blue (1 p.m.; all ages; pass the hat). Salucci is in the band Sassafras Union; Goldish has a new album, Dream Come True; and Johnson and Blue dish out gutsy blues tunes.

On Sunday, Nov. 18, the showcase heads to Sculpterra Winery when Natalie Angiuli brings her indie pop sound to Paso (1 p.m.; all ages; pass the hat). Angiuli says she’s inspired by “the birds and the bees, Woody Allen movies, Thom Yorke’s falsetto, and green tea.”

The week’s showcases finish up on Tuesday, Nov. 20, at Kreuzberg, with Kelly McFarling singing her southern siren songs (6:30 p.m.; all ages; pass the hat). This Georgia peach learned to sing in churches and baseball stadiums, and learned to write songs by reading Flannery O’Connor and Toni Morrison.

Come support these struggling artists! All the money that goes into the tip jars goes to the headliners to cover expenses for this labor of love.

More music …

Pewter Plough Playhouse’s annual holiday musical is upon us! Staring on Friday, Nov. 16, and running for seven weeks through New Year’s Eve, check out “September Song—The Great American Songbook,” which will celebrate the Playhouse founder Jim Buckley’s 100th birthday! The scene on stage is a meeting of the Great American Songbook Society, whose members are gathered together to select and put together the music and stories about Buckley that will go into their surprise musical celebrating their head honcho’s life. You’ll hear about 40 fabulous songs from the Great American Songbook, from composers such as Cole Porter, Oscar Hammerstein II, Jerome Kern, Noel Coward, Stephen Sondheim, and many others. Call the box office at 927-3877 or visit for all the details. Happy birthday, Jim!

On Sunday, Nov. 18, Certified Visioning Coach Dorothy Segovia will hold a music celebration for her My Body, My Car: How to Coach Yourself Through Life's little Accidents workbook and music CD, from 1 to 3 p.m. in Coalesce Bookstore’s Garden Chapel. Dorothy will perform with guest artists Steve Eddy, Michael Antonette, and Gail Brooks. The book and CD teaches you how to move through emotions that accompany such life events as car accidents.

Keep up with Glen Starkey via twitter at, friend him at or, or contact him at [email protected].


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