This month´s theme for the magazine is all about Playa Grande. So in keeping with this I´m writing about the Leatherbacks. No not the turtles, but the iconic local rock-n-roll band that has been playing all over Costa Rica and the Gold Coast area for the past 20 years.
The lead singer and guitarist Nick DÁmico formed the leatherbacks 20 years ago in 1997 when Tamarindo was just getting its feet wet as one of the area’s best known live music venues.

I remember first seeing them when they played in Grande at Rancho Diablo. They showed up and rocked the house for 3 hours. Their mix of rock-n-roll classics like “Mustang Sally” with tunes from the Rolling Stones and AC-DC plus their own originals have always kept the crowds shakin’ to a solid rock-n-roll vibe.

The band as we know it now was consolidated into its current makeup in 2005 when Canadian Brian Burback joined on lead guitar and vocals. Brian is a ripper who mesmerizes the crowd nightly with his blazing solo performances.
Rounding out the 5-member band and aptly capable of their own solo jam sessions during the set are Tony G on drums, Pedro Golobios on bass and Roy on percussion drums.

For the past 2 years, Joe Hrbek, has been popping up on stage with the boyz. Joe is one of the latest local musical transplants who has been lighting up the local bars playing his jazz saxophone to many classic tunes. He also plays with the band and when he’s up there jamming, they definitely take it up a notch with his solos.

Then you always have the yearly migration of Donnie Walsh from the legendary Down Child Blues Band. When Donnie and the boyz get together, you can count on a blues jam session you won´t soon forget.

The Leatherbacks have been a rock-n-roll staple in these parts for as long as I´ve been living here. So when you see them advertised on a chalk board, poster or FB post, make sure you hit up that local venue and check them out. It´s always a safe bet that you´ll be in for a great show and a good time with good friends.

Pura Vida
Johnny Grande

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