On his latest release Another Day (Eusonia Records, 2011), Zach Deputy demonstrates his extraordinary ability to perform and record in multiple contexts. He conveys the sensibilities of a mature singer/songwriter and demonstrates that he is not merely a "looper"1 with crazy chops, serious pipes and colorful outfits. Another Day offers another look at Zach Deputy and seeks to help him cross over into other audiences. Rich with ballads and mid-tempo songs, the music on this recording is best described as soulful rhythm and blues, with flavors of Al Green, Taj Mahal and Stevie Wonder emerging in the swells, changes and modulations of the music, in the voice and even in the lyrical content. The record will appeal to fans of contemporary artists like Jack Johnson and Amos Lee, but the origins of the style and feel remain classic. Recorded over 5 days in August, 2009 at Mission Sound Recording in Brooklyn, NY, Another Day emerged as a warm, mellow album, one that is perfect for after hour soirees and sunsets. It is possible that the only benefit to recording with a limited budget in a small window of time is that the raw essence of the session is not stripped away by weeks or months of second guessing and revision. The instincts and experience of the players is critical in sessions like this, and producer Scott Jacoby chose the right guys to fill out the sound and vibe of the record. To handle the ever-present Latin, Caribbean and African elements in Zach Deputy's backbeat and place them in the contemporary soul / pop format of the songs, Jacoby tapped Graham Hawthorne (Aretha Franklin, Harry Belafonte, Joan Osborne, Paul Simon, David Byrne) for the drum kit. Bassist Al Carty came into the studio and explained to Deputy's manager that he was feeling a little scattered, as he had played four church gigs that day. Despite the list of artists he has recorded or toured with (Lou Reed, Rob Thomas, Alicia Keys, De La Soul, Carrie Underwood, Gavin DeGraw, Me'shell Ndegeocello, Ashanti and more), the church gigs alone proved that Jacoby was on the mark with this choice for the low end. Zach Deputy is, after all, a soul singer whose music is underpinned by Gospel as much as by any other musical idiom. Equally at home in the Gospel tradition, pianist / organist Will Buthod (Jay-Z, Fat Joe, Alicia Keys, Swizz Beatz, Mashonda, The Harlem Gospel Choir) rounded out the studio trio that filled out Deputy's vision for the recording, a vision made real by Jacoby's pitch perfect choice of accompanists. These four accomplished professionals met for the first time on the first day of recording and worked as if they were old friends with a shared history and a common purpose. In contrast to the music and feel of Another Day, Zach Deputy has made his mark thus far as a touring powerhouse. As a boy, the music of Zach Deputy's Puerto Rican, Cruzan and Irish heritage was cooked up in the South Carolina heat. The Calypso rhythms and folk songs of St. Croix competed with the R&B / soul of pioneers like James Brown and Ray Charles for space on the family stereo. As Deputy honed his craft, a unique hybrid of these influences emerged, ultimately creating the signature Zach Deputy sound. To bring this sound to the stage, the big, impossibly upbeat South Carolinian with the infectious smile puts on a solo show-- enhanced by looping technology-- that is essentially a one man dance party offering up what he calls "Island-infused, Drum 'n' Bass, Gospel-Ninja-Soul" to the enthusiastic crowds of dancers who flock to clubs from coast-to-coast. It is these late night dance parties—more than 250 per year-- that have made Zach Deputy one of the hottest up-and-coming performers on the camping festival circuit and "jam band" scene. Of course, artists are seldom content to stay in one place artistically, and Zach was looking to collaborate with somebody on a more "produced", even somewhat "urban" sounding record. When Zach's manager first turned Grammy Award winning producer Scott Jacoby on to some of Zach's more funky, upbeat live performances, Jacoby simply didn't hear it. The one-man-band live looping show features a more simplified version of Deputy's music, and Jacoby was looking for songs, structure, changes, hooks, choruses… stuff that is nearly impossible to do by one's self on stage with a nylon string Godin acoustic guitar, a handful of mics and a bunch of looping technology. Zach simply showed up at Jacoby's studio with his acoustic guitar and sang a few songs and Jacoby was inspired—the urban-oriented dance album they had discussed was going to have to wait: he and Zach were now going to make what they called a "Ray Lamontagne" kind of record and the result is Another Day. For Zach, most days begin in a hotel room and end a couple of hours after walking off stage, leaving a packed house of sweaty dancers calling for more. The constant touring and the compelling live show may be the key to Zach's success on the road, but it is an unlikely inspiration for Another Day, as there is little similarity between what fans have come to expect from Zach and what is offered up in this new record. Thus, Another Day is an appropriately titled album, and it is truly an album in the classic sense—a collection of songs that come from the same time and place, inspired by the same muse. Reflective and introspective, it provides a glimpse at the soul of an artist and the depth of a songwriter. Full of hope and anticipation of the promise of another day, a new day, it is a pivotal point in the career of a touring musician. Whereas it is a departure for Zach Deputy, it is one that he feels confident his fans can relate to, but it isn't the end in itself. Deputy's multi-faceted diamond gets one side polished in this offering, and it is a side that will shine brightly for a new audience.
With his latest album, Watching Waiting, the Chicago-based guitar slinging singer/songwriter expresses his trials and tribulations through stories of his own neurosis's in search for love, answers, obsessions, and truth, uniquely blanketed by an overlying optimism about what we all hold most dear. Produced by Marshall Altman, (Marc Broussard, Matt Nathanson) recorded by Niko Bolas (Neil Young, Fiona Apple, Rachael Yamagata), and mixed by Brian Malouf (O.A.R., Natasha Bedingfield, Pearl Jam) Watching Waiting showcases Todd's unique take on contemporary pop-rock song craft, and stands out like an oasis of emotionalism in a cynical rock 'n' roll wasteland. Though Watching Waiting is largely shaped by Carey's recent experiences, the album's themes of restlessness, displacement, homecoming and triumph are universally resonant. "This record attempts to translate the emotion of longing into sound," says Carey. "That's why the title track describes the process of 'want', bordering on obsession. The Illinois Entertainer speaks that "His guitar-driven pop rock and soul are accessible to sell millions if given the chance. " Although Carey's songs would be impressive enough if they were simply wonderfully crafted, radio-ready gems, there's an actual story behind Watching Waiting's pop-inflected melodies, bedrock rhythms and introspective lyrics. Back in 2004, Carey found himself at a crossroads. Born and raised in the Chicago area, he had moved to Los Angeles in the late '90s to study music at the prestigious University of Southern California. Before long, he was earning his rock 'n' roll keep as front man for the improvisational LA band, Telepathy. Though Carey's charismatic stage presence helped transform Telepathy into one of southern California's most successful club acts, the singer-guitarist found himself beset by feelings of restlessness, and returned to Chicago with new direction. "It was the live thing," Carey recalls with a laugh, referring to Mid-West's fanatical crowds. "I missed playing shows for audiences who really want to grow with their artists." "Touring has always been the most important thing for me about being a musician. I crave the connection of performing my music for people, and there is nothing better than seeing what I hold most dear affecting and connecting with others." This year alone, Carey has performed over 100 shows in clubs, festivals and college campuses, headlining most of them, with stints opening for the aristocratic likes of Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, Jackson Browne, Jason Mraz, Marc Broussard, G. Love & Special Sauce, Josh Kelley and more. "I am getting a lot of support from bloggers, fans, and press in the community of my genre which feels great." Carey is referring to his recent and coveted featured artist slots on tastemaker websites like CaliGreenRoom.com and The Hub on MySpace, and a staff pick on the exclusive MySpace digital distributor SnoCap, all which brought great attention to recent touring. Traditional press continues to spout out glowing and optimistic reviews like Billboard.com stating "…the acoustic guitar funk of the album opening "Ain't Got Love"…sounds custom made for the top of the pop charts." Television is catching on too with morning show appearances on WGN Chicago, FOX Milwaukee and FOX St. Louis. On the radio front, 2 powerhouse stations WTMX Chicago and 99x Atlanta has spun the single "Ain't Got Love", and several Triple A format stations have picked it up including WQNR Alabama, KDBB Missouri, WYOU Virginia Beach, KCUV Denver, WMVY Martha's Vineyard, KCLC St. Louis, KXCI Tucson, and WJCU Cleveland. Todd's music can be also heard on MTV's The Real World, the independent coming-of-age film Palo Alto, and widely seen on his YouTube channel Youtube.com/toddcarey. Last November, towards their goal of capturing the right magic in the studio, Carey and producer Marshall Altman assembled and recorded with a crackerjack supporting band for Watching Waiting, including drummer Aaron Sterling (Liz Phair, Natasha Bedingfield, Ben Taylor), bassist Jonathan Ahrens (Matt Redman, Josh Kelley) and keyboardist Ben West. Additional guitar textures were supplied by guitarist Michael Chaves (Sarah McLachlan, John Mayer, Rufus Wainwright). Confident with the spirit of the tracks, Carey and Altman sequestered themselves in various studios around L.A, where Carey laid down the additional guitars and vocals that shape the album. "I spent a lot of time trying to give the tracks a unique flavor by adding the atmospheric and lead guitar tones that I identify with on a personal level. Beyond the superb playing of the band, I wanted the guitars and vocals to avoid some of the singer/songwriter clichés while not heading too far astray from the genre." You can almost see Carey's wink to the listener in the track "King of Cliché." As he sings "I'm the king of cliché'/all my dreams are this way," he separates himself from his contemporaries with soul grooves and funky leads that segue into chimey acoustic guitars over pounding drums. "I couldn't be happier with this record," Carey says with exuberance akin to a child in a sandbox. "There was a coherence in the writing, in the demos, the rehearsals, the performances, and the production. They all came together. But the roots of it really comes from getting up in front of an audience who really want to be moved." For Carey, Watching Waiting is the most recent chapter in an already storied career. The singer's independently produced 2005 debut solo album, "Revolving World," effectively showcased Carey's eclectic songs, wide-ranging guitar skills and performing intensity. "Revolving World" found Carey working alongside engineer Paul DuGre (Tracy Chapman, Mike Gordon, Leo Kottke, Los Lobos), and producer Jim Tullio (Los Lonely Boys, The Band, Staple Singers). Both albums can be found on iTunes, Amazon, and all other digital download services, in addition to CDs available on Amazon, Awarestore.com and at other traditional chain retail outlets.
Categories: Concerts & Tour DatesAdded: Aug 11, 2012 at 10:55 PM // Last Modified: Feb 27, 2013 at 11:20 AM
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