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Zach Deputy brings his island-infused sound to Huntington

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Zach Deputy brings his island-infused sound to Huntington

Sep. 29, 2013 @ 11:36 PM

HUNTINGTON – Jimmy Buffett was off by just a day because come Tuesday, everything’s going to be all right.

2011 1201 WkndBestBets MainWell, at least this week.

That’s because Tuesday, Oct. 1 the V Club, 741 6th Ave., welcomes in the gentle Southern soul, Zach Deputy. He is well known in these parts and around the festival scene for his self-described, “one-man show of island-infused, drum ‘n’ bass, gospel-ninja-soul that has the energy and sound of a six-piece band.”

In between gigs in Florida and Kentucky, Deputy drops in for a 10 p.m. concert at the V. Tickets are $12 for the ages 18 and up show.

Deputy, who was chilling at his Savannah, Ga., home trying to finish up his new CD, said he’s stoked to be rolling back into the wild and wonderfulness of West Virginia, a place that embraced the acoustic island soul of Deputy long ago.

“To me it feels like it is family there,” said Deputy, who over Labor Day weekend surprised his friends with a visit to the Phamily Reunion in the New River Gorge, just to hang out. “I remember playing in front of like six people at the Empty Glass (in Charleston) and there being a couple people who were like ‘you are freaking awesome’ and so then the next time I came back I was playing in front of 30 people and then to 80 people and then to sold out. That was really cool to watch West Virginia happen. I felt like they caught on before a lot of the rest of the country. A couple places in the country like instantly got it and all of those places are like one stop from my heart.”

Deputy said that while these days he doesn’t have the ability to germinate most markets from the ground up like that, doing so here in West Virginia, seared his love into the fabric of the scene here.

“I got to watch it happen and be friends with people in West Virginia, like I know a lot of  people by name and they are my type of people,” Deputy said. “They’re people who are willing to help you out. West Virginia is not one of those places I am worried about breaking down in. They’d be like ‘oh yeah, well I’m on my way.’ There’s not too many places like that.”

Deputy said he appreciates that fan love of folks letting him just be his unique self — a South Carolina-raised boy who boils up the musical gumbo that is his Puerto Rican, Cruzan and Irish heritage with looping technology in some more than 250 gigs a year.

“Because my mom comes from the islands and is Puerto Rican I grew up listening to island music like most people listen to Top 40 and then my dad was all into the soul music and Motown music, Deputy said. “When I got into high school I got all jazzed out and then after that I returned to the things that I love. Reggae isn’t something I just got into when I was 18 and decided to play it, that’s not how it works. It has to be a part of your blood and upbringing.”

That ability to soulfully red stripe his music with both reggae and American Southern soul influences such as Ray Charles, has made Deputy a favorite on the festival scene where he’s played everything from Wanee and Mountain Jam to Jam Cruise and Jungle Jam in Puerto Rico.

This fall, he’ll join one of his buddies he met at the jam festivals, Karl Denson and his band Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe, for a Ray Charles Boogaloo Dance Party at which Deputy will play a looping set before joining the band as the voice of Charles.

That West Coast tour runs the last two weeks of October and rolls into such historic spaces as The Fillmore in San Francisco.

Deputy said he’s ready to jam it out with the horn-laden Tiny Universe.

“We decided to do this for the first time at Jazz Fest at Tipitina’s in New Orleans and it was just awesome,” Deputy said. “We decided to take it around the country a little bit. I’m always putting projects together as much as I can. I’m a huge Ray Charles fan so I love to be able to go do his songs with the full horn section. We can actually give it the love and attention it deserves and do it right. You can’t have a four-piece Ray Charles tribute.”

Deputy, who is now a father, is also trying to give all the love and attention he can, when he can, to recording his songs.

Known for such records as “Another Day,” Deputy is done with everything but the mixing on a new CD that happens to be completely only his creation from producing to playing all the instruments and singing.

“It’s probably my most eclectic record and it is also the first record I am producing from every angle,” Deputy said. “No one has hands on it except me. I finally made it to this state in my career where I have enough confidence to make my own album, and I didn’t think about making it, which was the beauty of it. I’m just playing and making songs and I’m like oh, there is a whole album here. I kind of like that, I feel more organic about it. When I get home it’s like  it might be one in the morning and I’ll start goofing around and all of a sudden it is 4 in the morning and I need to go to bed. Then I’ll go back out and listen and it will be like this is cool. So I am just trying to let it happen and not trying to force it.”

Deputy said he wants the CD to capture at least some of that spontaneous feel of his rambling live shows.

“I like that feeling,” he said. “It’s kind of like my live shows where you get this one-time experience where we all go places where I didn’t even know I was going to go, and each show is different and I might sometimes go more country or sometimes more hip hop and sometimes way too much funk. That keeps me fresh as an artist.”