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Local indie folk band Moonshiner Collective is taking the stage at SLO Brewing Co. on Jan. 10, along with Próxima Parada and Julian Temple Band.

Brenna Swanston

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Local indie folk group Moonshiner Collective will make its debut as a full band at SLO Brewing Co. Jan. 10, accompanied by Próxima Parada and Julian Temple Band.

Cayucos native Dan Curcio — fresh from his former band, Still Time — brought Moonshiner Collective into being a year ago, with the help of multi-instrumentalist Nathan Towne. Curcio and Towne performed and recorded as a duo until three months ago, when they added drummer Zach Cornejo and bassist Matt Reeder.

Moonshiner Collective’s SLO Brewing Co. performance will be its first as a full band. The new rhythm section will bring the group’s sound to life, Towne said.

“Before, I had a looping machine and we played all these instruments at once,” he said. “It sounded robotic and there wasn’t much change we could do. With four live instruments and no looping, it’s the same songs, but it’s more energetic.”

Curcio, guitarist and vocalist, also said the addition of the rhythm section has helped fill out the band’s sound.

“It kicked it up to a whole new level,” Curcio said. “I’m excited to get it back to something that could get the crowd energized, get everybody moving and just have a great night.”

Curcio and Towne released Moonshiner Collective’s first album, Let Go, this past September. At its SLO Brewing Co. show, the group will play material from the album, as well as new music, covers and Still Time songs, Towne said.

Curcio likens the band’s sound to that of Mumford & Sons and Ben Harper.

“It’s just positive, good-time party music,” he said.

Curcio and his former Still Time bandmates went their separate ways after playing the field in San Luis Obispo’s music scene for eight years. Curcio then started Moonshiner Collective, intending to turn the group into a full-time job, he said.

“It’s a totally different kind of project, but it’s the same kind of positive energy and simple vibes as we had with the band Still Time,” Curcio said.

Moonshiner Collective raised $9,000 on Kickstarter, with which they created their first music video and recorded Let Go.

The band has been touring California cities from San Diego to San Francisco, Curcio said. They hope to soon expand their touring locations nationally.

“Ideally, we’d just travel all over the country, playing great venues throughout,” he said. “I really can’t say where it’s gonna take us, but I think we’ve just got to keep working hard and getting the word out.”

Due to budget restrictions, marketing has been the band’s biggest obstacle, Curcio said. Their actual music, however, is up to par.

“I think the music is there,” he said. “I think the music is really professional, and we’re having a really good time working on it.”

Between Still Time, solo performances and Moonshiner Collective, Curcio has played at SLO Brewing Co. upwards of 20 times, he said. He appreciates the sense of community the venue offers.

“It’s small enough to be intimate, but not too small to where you feel like you’re in a coffee shop,” Curcio said. “There’s this moment where you feel like everybody’s together as one. In a venue like that, I think that’s possible. I don’t know if that’s possible in an arena.”

SLO Brewing Co. events and promotions supervisor Jessica Puchli said Moonshiner Collective brought a cheerful vibe to the venue when the group performed there as a duo in November.

“It gives you a sense of strong community and happiness,” Puchli said. “It’s very happy music.”

The audience loved Moonshiner Collective’s show, she said.

“Everybody was super stoked,” she said. “There was lots of dancing and good times had by all.”

Towne looks forward to sharing the night with Próxima Parada and Julian Temple Band, he said. It will be Moonshiner Collective’s first performance with either of the local groups.

“I like their music a lot,” he said. “It’s going to be a good mix with those two bands and us.”

Friday night’s show will start at 7:30. Tickets are available for $12 in advance and $15 at the door. The show is 21 and over.

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