Smith’s Olde Bar
February 25, 2011
What do you get when you cross the inconceivable technical prowess of Keller Williams, the smooth island beats of Bob Marley, and the sheer vocal perfection of Stevie Wonder? You get music—elevated. This heightened musical trip can be experienced at every live performance of Zach Deputy, and last Friday in Atlanta was no exception. Unquestionably, Zach brought his "A" game to Smith’s Olde Bar and the crowd relished in the glory of his melodious talent. Looking for a good time? Look no further because here it is—your favorite musical addiction.
On a normal day, Smith’s can be seen as Any-Bar-USA, with a small upstairs area and a cozy concert stage. However, when Zach’s avid fans descended upon this quaint setting, a festival of epic proportions was spawned. Scores of people filed into the sold out venue, stood shoulder to shoulder pressed up against the stage, and fought for oxygen. The atmosphere felt like a raging house party with a good friend playing some tunes for the night’s entertainment…who just happened to be insanely talented.
Deputy, with an unassuming rock star vibe, took to the stage with his own musical concoction of rhythmic funkiness. The set started out with skillfully looped guitar licks, layers of chorded harmonies, and intricate beats from a collection of percussion accoutrements to whet any drummer’s appetite. One song after another proved to be a one-man production of symphonic caliber, and no musical style seemed to be off limits. During "Twisty Twisty," Deputy recreated a soca beat with such accurate authenticity that the audience was only an island breeze away from Trinidad at Carnival. The elated fans soaked up every ounce of energy and generated an ambiance full of Grand Central Station-like hustle and flow. Zach seamlessly wound down into a delta style blues jam with "Don’t Treat Me This Way." Beat boxing, rapping, and kazoo canoodling each graced the first set. All the while, the crowd danced, cheered, and begged for more.
The second set began with a trance-like wash of sitar-style guitar sounds. The crowd stood spellbound as Zach evolved into the Middle Eastern flavored groove. This dazing descant gave way to an infectious pop groove that clutched the audience’s attention with as much hold as a gripping game of "Simon Says." Phish’s "First Tube" flowed into "Tube Steak;" creating a heated battle of call and response between Zach and the primed crowd. Cheers of mashed potatoes, collard greens, and chicken pot pie rang loudly in the small room.
"Slow Things Down" proved to be a highlight of the evening, with deep grooves and soulful vocals that could establish Zach as the falsetto master of the universe. After hours of listening to refreshingly pleasing and innovative tunes, the audience left Smith’s Olde Bar with a sense of complete fulfillment. With his infectious smiles and vibe, consistent optimism and musical fortitude, Zach Deputy has certainly found the winning recipe for musical greatness that will have you coming back for a second (and third) helping.
Honest Tune interviewed Zach Deputy while aboard Jam Cruise 9. Click HERE to watch the video interview.