Zach Deputy

July 24 • Play By Play Cafe

The term “one-man band” used to conjure images of a guitar player with a harmonica rack, cymbals taped to the insides of his knees, a bike horn under his arm, a bass drum with a stomp pedal and a tambourine for a hat. Technology has largely eliminated that stereotype in favor of a guy playing a single instrument and a cacophony of additional sounds provided by a computer set-up stage right.

Zach Deputy is one of many who have taken advantage of the upgrading of the one-man band concept, but there are very few doing what Deputy does so well, concocting a genre blend that he identifies on his Web site (www.zachdeputy.com) as “Island-Infused Drum N’ Bass/Gospel Ninja Soul.” And he’s right.

Deputy hails from the shores of South Carolina, but his DNA originates in the Caribbean and it shows in his blazingly funky rhythms and unapologetic soulfulness. Those lucky enough to be among his ass-danced-off audiences have witnessed a phenomenally percussive guitarist performing with a virtual orchestral accompaniment, layered live via computer.

Imagine a Vulcan mind meld of Justin Timberlake, Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Dave Matthews, Beck and Kings of Leon all rolled into one twitchy and impossibly talented body that resembles a modern day Friar Tuck. Now imagine that you’re in one of Deputy’s audiences and dancing with the same kind of unstoppably spellbound fervor that gripped the parents in Hocus Pocus and the guy inspiring this behavior lives and works in the back of a panel truck much of the year, and you get some idea of the kind of sensation that he’s been creating at every gig he’s played up and down the East Coast and throughout the Midwest.

As Muhammad Ali once rightly pointed out, “It ain’t braggin’ if it’s true.” There truly is nothing at all like Zach Deputy.

(Get show and club details here.)

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