300 York St,
New Haven, CT
Saturday, June 30, 2018
All ages – 9pm – $17~$20
In making his fourth album Wash It in the Water, Zach Deputy dreamed up a sunny and soulful new sound that fuses hip-hop, funk, and folky pop with the spirited rhythms of soca and calypso. With that sound embodied by the album’s brightly melodic and richly textured title track, Wash It in the Water finds the Georgia-based singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist mining his Puerto Rican and Cruzan heritage for inspiration.
“Because of the music I was raised on, I’ve always heard rhythm in a very tropical, Latin-esque way—it’s something that resonates in the deepest parts of me,” says Deputy, who grew up in South Carolina. “When I was a kid my grandma would play a lot of salsa and soca and make me get up and dance to it, so in a way this is me putting my own spin on all that and bringing those sounds into a whole new era.”
With Deputy playing every instrument on the album, Wash It in the Water was self-produced in spontaneous sessions that took place in studios and homes and sometimes in Deputy’s garage. “Each time I recorded it was mostly just for fun,” he says. “I wasn’t trying to make anything happen, I was just going with what felt good.” As a result, Wash It in the Water bears a warm, natural feel that permeates everything from the intricate guitar work and tender vocals of “Jump in the Water” (a serenade to Deputy’s seven-year-old daughter) to the groove-heavy funk of “Put It in the Boogie” (a celebration of the joyfully chaotic life of a musician) to the piano-driven balladry of “Loving You” (a powerful meditation on unconditional love).
Despite the spur-of-the-moment approach, Wash It in the Water emerges as a gracefully arranged effort that owes much to the musicianship and songcraft Deputy’s honed since getting his first guitar at age 13. By his mid-teens he’d started up a series of garage bands, balancing his own projects with playing in local big bands and soul groups. “I was this 16-year-old white kid crushing it in a Motown band, and because of that I got to learn a lot about respecting the composition,” Deputy recalls. “To me music is a bunch of small pieces fitting together to form this beautiful castle.”
In his early 20s, Deputy experienced a major turning point that would take his music in an entirely new direction. “I was playing in a band but I wasn’t inspired—music wasn’t bringing me the joy that it used to, and I felt like I might be done with it altogether,” he says. Along with quitting the band mid-tour, Deputy traded in his electric guitar and amp for a nylon-string acoustic and moved back home to work construction with his dad. “At work all day I’d have this music in my head, and as soon as I got home I’d go straight to the guitar,” he says. Serendipitously landing a solo gig by walking into a bar just after that night’s featured artist had bailed, Deputy soon introduced the world to the sound he’d eventually dub “island-infused, drum ‘n’ bass, gospel-ninja-soul.” By 2008 he’d released his debut album Out of the Water and—thanks to his ingenuity in looping—made his name as an unforgettable one-man-band live act.
In reflecting on his path as a musical artist, Deputy likens that creative awakening to the message at the heart of “Wash It in the Water.” “That song’s about cleansing yourself from all the nonsense of the world—starting fresh, a rebirth of sorts,” he says. And whether performing live or creating new music, Deputy aspires to guide listeners toward a renewal of their own. “I try to give people a little soul massage,” he says. “In music you get so raw and make yourself naked to the world, and hopefully people can find themselves in that and realize they’re not alone. For me touching someone’s life in a positive way is the best thing about making music, and that’s what’s kept me going with it for all these years.”
Sun-Dried Vibes provide a fresh twist to the reggae/rock genre with their high-energy live performances that crank out infectious sing-a-longs laced with a positive message. SDV will be heard, since their inception in 2010 the group has performed around 275 dates a year. The trio of road warriors have two full length albums under their belt and a new one in the works for 2018. The new album, “Stay Hopeful” is anticipated to drop in Fall 2018 featuring some of the biggest and best names in the American Reggae/Rock Scene such as Rebelution, The Movement, Tropidelic, Bumpin Uglies and more. The album was tracked by Jeff Leonard and Eric Rickert at Ocean Industries Studios (Charleston, SC) and Echo Mountain Recording Studio (Asheville, NC) and was mastered by Chris Gehringer of Sterling Sound (New York, NY).
Sun-Dried Vibes took home back to back awards for South Carolina’s Rock Band of the Year in 2012, 2013, as well as 2016, voted on by the SC Music Awards and were voted Charlotte NC’s Best Local Band 2012 by the Readers of Creative Loafing. In 2014 one of the most progressive promoters in the world took notice and added SDV to the major festival ‘California Roots: Carolina Sessions’ sharing the bill with the Rebelution, Matisyahu, Collie Buddz, Giant Panda Guerrilla Dub Squad, Katchafire and more in Wilmington, NC. This festival along with a 12 show, headlining tour in the US Virgin Islands was the icing on the cake in 2014.
2015 was the year of opportunity for Sun-Dried Vibes. SDV set out on a national tour that summer highlighted by an appearance at the largest reggae music festival in the world. California Roots Music & Arts Festival will took place May 2015 in Monterey, CA and the group was humbled to share the bill with SOJA, Steel Pulse, Dirty Heads, Chronixx, The Roots and many more. 2015 also brought a new opportunity for SDV as the trio was added to a world class roster at SEG: Sweetwine Entertainment Group based out of Denver, CO.
2016 shaped up to be the biggest and best yet for Sun-Dried Vibes as they kicked off the year with a SOLD OUT show in their hometown of Charlotte, NC on New Years Eve. The group follows up the sellout with a 20 show national tour in 9 states including a stop at a SOLD OUT One Love Cali Reggae Fest in Santa Ana, CA. The boys also made appearances at Reggae Rise Up Festival in St. Petersburg, FL, a return to the 3rd Annual California Roots: Carolina Sessions on April 9th in Myrtle Beach, SC and the 5th Annual California Roots Music & Arts Festival in Monterey, CA. 2016 also included SOLD OUT SHOWS in 5 other major cities (Washington, DC | Atlanta, GA | Wilmington, NC | Columbia, SC | Austin, TX) and support tours for national touring artists Ballyhoo!, Through the Roots & Zach Deputy.
On August 28th 2011 Zach Fowler (Lead Vox/ Gtr), Evan Tyler (Bass), and Alex Winchester (Drums) released ‘Give Thanks’ as their debut album and began filling up rooms along the east coast. On April 8th, 2014 their sophomore album “Back2Square1” debuted on the iTunes Reggae Charts at #6 and the hit single “Young One” ft. Jeremy Anderson (TreeHouse) was featured as the MP3 Leak of the Week by The Pier (www.thepier.org). In 2017, the group experienced their first major line up change and introduced Jono Cheverez to the family as their new full-time drummer. Since then the trio has done several national support tours with Badfish, Through the Roots as well as a few national headlining tours. The band also founded their own music festival in 2017, Surrounded by the Sound Music & Arts Festival. Since then, the bands equity has shot through the roof. The group has completed their 3rd full length album, “Stay Hopeful,” and plans to release in Fall 2018.
It’s not a secret that the Sun-Dried Vibes family includes a very loyal fan base, the higher ups have definitely taken notice. SDV has had the pleasure of supporting major acts of all genres including The Dirty Heads, 311, Slightly Stoopid, Ballyhoo, The Movement, Passafire, The Expendables, Natural Vibrations, The Aggrolites, The Supervillains, Less Than Jake, AWOL Nation, Neon Trees, The Nappy Roots and many more. The group is considered the Pioneer’s of Southeast Reggae/Rock and they intend to continue forging the path for many years to come.
Venice Beach is famous for the performers who grace the boardwalk, the stoners and street characters who hang on the beach, and the surf culture that spawned a whole California sound. Christopher Hawley, a devoted surfer, guitarist, and singer-songwriter, is a Venice musician through and through. His new album Stories reads like a series of miniature character studies, washed in California Roots Pop.
After studying classical guitar as a child and playing in the jazz band in high school, Hawley co-founded Mucis, a Colorado jam band whose members signed to a label and toured nationally in a retrofitted school bus. He could never get enough of being on the road performing original music, so when the band broke up, Hawley became a solo roots rock singer-songwriter and forged on in Los Angeles.
As a solo artist and with an expansive collective known as The Christopher Hawley Rollers, he has had music licensed for Fox’s “The Good Guys,” NFL’s “NFL A.M.,” and several independent films. The band was featured in an H&R Block commercial playing two of Hawley’s songs. Over the years, he has played everywhere from LA’s Greek Theatre to yoga retreats in Bali and dive bars in ski and surf towns.
Hawley is a devoted yogi, with a steady practice that influences the way he lives his life. “My yoga practice has inspired me to be more conscious about what I consume and how I consume it. The idea is to put an increasingly smaller footprint on the planet.”
His dedication to surfing echoes a similar sentiment. He learned to surf while with a girlfriend in Hawaii, and that experience was part of the impetus for his move from Colorado to California. “Surfing, like yoga, is a great meditational workout,” says Hawley. “It’s a full-body experience in the ocean…. You’re trying to tune in to the waves and, ultimately, become one with Mother Nature. Both activities force you to practice being present, just like when you’re playing music.”
A few years back, Hawley’s friend, Randy Wooten, offered to produce a few tracks in exchange for surf lessons for his girlfriend’s son. Hawley and Wooten began writing together on a regular basis. Their prolific partnership produced a long list of songs. One song, “Sidewalks and Bars,” was conceptualized during one of those surf lessons.
What began as a casual collaboration between two friends in Venice soon became a full-length album.
“The approach was collaborative, from the songwriting all the way through the recording process,” Hawley says, “It felt like a weight was lifted off my shoulders with Randy in the producer’s chair: In the past, I’d done almost everything myself, so to be able to show up focused on the music was liberating.”
Hawley is spreading his wings in a way he never has before. The album is beautifully produced: Wooten did his job well, taking a roots rock palate and adding memorable touches like barrelhouse piano, reverb-soaked guitar, and even modern synth sounds. Hawley’s up-front vocals lend the songs a remarkable sense of intimacy.
However, it’s the collaboration between the two songwriters that makes Stories shine. The songs are smart and compelling, and there’s a depth to the tales they tell that makes you want to listen more closely.