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All a-board, for one funky tour

Catch a wave of funk as ZuhG comes to the coast

Published on March 17, 2015 11:49AM

Funk with a salt-water twist will be on offer on the Central Coast this week as touring band ZuhG take to the stage with a show that combines elements of jazz, reggae and rock.

And while most of the band hail from Sacramento, founder and lead signer Bryan Nichols lives right here on the Oregon Coast — an area he says has been a huge influence on his work.

“It’s been a dream of mine to always live at the beach,” he said. “I’ve been writing songs about it since long before I moved here.”

And, as the cover of the band’s latest album, “Field Trip,” suggests, Oregon’s surf scene has made quite an impression on Nichols since his move north.

“I’ve really fallen in love with the ocean all over,” he said. “It’s surprising how many good waves there are. I try to surf every day that I can.”

This week will see Nichols reunited with his fellow band members as ZuhG embarks on a three-week West Coast tour that includes Oregon Coast gigs in Lincoln City and Manzanita.

“Field Trip” is the sixth album for ZuhG, which started in 2007 in Sacramento. Nichols is the sole original member, leading a lineup that has been together for just over a year and now includes a three-member horn section.

Together, the group blasts out an eclectic mix of everything from instrumental funk to reggae and even one number that is more than just a little bit country.

While the Oregon Coast music scene is smaller than Nichols was used to in Sacramento, he said coastal music lovers are a great audience.

“People really appreciate music here,” he said. “They’re really friendly and the tip jar always seems to be full.”

Catch ZuhG live at 9 pm on Thursday, March 26, at the Nauti Mermaid, 1343 Hwy. 101, Lincoln City, with free admission. The band will also play at Manzanita Lighthouse Pub & Grub, 36480 Hwy. 101, Nehalem at 9 pm on Saturday, March 28, with a $5 cover charge.

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