With all the great local musicians and artists in the Sacramento area, one wonders where to go to discover this budding talent. With a little research I found a great place to go for such things: the ZuhG Life store in the Downtown Plaza. Here, they feature local artwork, local music, and local clothing lines. Not only do they offer local music for sale on the racks, but they also offer an open-mic night on Tuesdays from 6-8 pm for aspiring musicians and other performers (I enjoyed all the acts the Tuesday I attended including “Steve the Magician”). Also on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, the ZuhG Life store hosts live music—as a way to showcase local talent. Aside from just listening and buying great music you can also learn music at the ZuhG Life store as they provide lessons to those who seek to learn an instrument.

With all this exposure, it is evident just how important the local scene is to owner Bryan Nichols. As a member of the local band, ZuhG, he knows how hard it can be for artists and musicians to get the exposure they need to be successful. In 2007 Bryan named the band he plays guitar and is lead vocals in, ZuhG. Today ZuhG consist of eight: Bryan Nichols on lead vocals and guitar, JR Halliday on guitar, Rooster on Drums, Charlѐѐѐ beatboxing (known amongst ZuhG as the “mouth situation”) and MCing, Dylan Crawford on vocals and guitar, Andrew Conn playing the bass, Josh Rosato playing percussion, and Bot contributing with the saxophone and keytar. After having seen ZuhG a few times and still unable to describe their music in English I decided to ask Bryan how he describes the type of music ZuhG plays. His answer: “funky, reggae, jam band.” One thing for certain these fellas sure do put on a great show. And speaking of a great show, this upcoming weekend in Sacramento is the 1st annual ZuhGfest.

ZuhGfest will be featuring twenty local bands including, among others, ZuhG, Wooster, Massive Delicious (a band consisting of three of the ZuhG members—Dylan, Josh, Andrew, with Rooster lending a hand on percussion occasionally), Island of Black & White, The Diva Kings, Fish Out of Water, Out of Place, The Bennys, James Cavern and many more. ZuhGfest is being held this Saturday, August 25th, at 10000 Garden Highway at the Rio Ramaza Event Park (between Riego Rd. and Elverta Rd.) on the Sacramento River. Tickets are $15 at the gate or $12 in advance and can be purchased at the ZuhG Life store. Reservations can be made for camping ($30 a night) by calling (916) 925-5432.

For those of you who would like to check out a ZuhG show but are unable to make this weekend’s ZuhGfest, fear not for the ZuhG fellas have a busy calendar coming up. Starting Aug. 31 and going through the 2nd of Sept. will be the Cosmic Family Gathering, a three day music festival, which, ZuhG will be playing at Friday night. Directly after that, in Freemont Park on Sept. 3rd, ZuhG will be at Chalk It Up. And if you are in for a road trip to the coast check them out in Pismo Beach on Friday the 14th at the Cambria Pines Lodge and the following Saturday Sept. 15th at Cliff’s. ZuhG will be playing on Sept. 22 at Pirate Festival (located at 10000 Garden Hwy. as well). And on Sept. 23, ZuhG will be playing at Stilldream, which, is being held in Belden, CA along the Feather River Canyon and runs from Sept. 21st to the 24th. But don’t wait too long to catch a show because the ZuhG wagon will be headed on a cross-county tour including stops in Arizona, Texas, Florida, The Big Easy, South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, Virginia and Colorado with the first stop being The Reef Bar in Santa Cruz on Sept. 26th.

When I asked Bryan about life on tour he had this to say: “…on tour, you experience the highest highs and the lowest lows”. That being said he went on to say, “touring’s fun, there’s nothing like it.” Hopefully, this year the ZuhG tour will stay upon the high road.

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Words John Wheeker

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