Zach Deputy may live in Savannah, but he plays here only once a year.
"That's normal for me," he says. "Most of my markets are once a year. Between Savannah and Hilton Head, that takes up the Lowcountry."
Fortunately, that one time a year is just about due. Deputy is going to send out the old year and bring in the new from 9 p.m. Dec. 31 to 3 a.m. Jan. 1 at Barrelhouse South.
A multi-instrumentalist and songwriter, Deputy is best known for his live looping shows, presented in a style he calls "island-infused drum 'n bass gospel ninja soul."
"The 'island-infused' is true," he says. "The 'drum 'n bass' is kind of a joke.
"Gospel is soul and a lot of music comes from gospel. Country music comes from gospel.
"The 'ninja' part comes in how I go about making it," Deputy says. "I'm playing every single instrument live and in front of everybody's face. Music begins and ends with soul."
Part Puerto Rican, Irish, African, British, French and Cherokee, Deputy is inspired by his multi-ethnic heritage. His shows include Latin, Caribbean and African music, but he is locally born and bred.
"I was born in Memorial Hospital in Savannah and I was raised in Bluffton," he says. "I've always lived in a 30-mile radius from Savannah.
"My family was very musical. I was exposed to world music as a young man, so I feel I had a leg up."
Deputy was just 9 when he decided he wanted to be a musician.
"Nobody took me seriously then," he says. "I said, 'I'm going to be the greatest musician ever.'"
At 14, Deputy got a guitar. At 16, he started playing it professionally.
"I took two lessons my entire life, a total of one hour," he says. "I took a lesson from a guy in the neighborhood who said, 'I can't give you lessons, but you can come and jam out.' That was cool."
Deputy's idols include Ray Charles, Stevie Wonder and Creedence Clearwater Revival.
"When I was younger, I listened to different stuff," he says. "Now that I'm older, I don't listen to a lot of stuff that I used to, but it still inspires me. I can't escape the '90s because I'm a product of the '90s."
As a youngster, Deputy was very shy, but his uncle stepped in and got him and his brother gigs.
"We were really young, so it was more like a novelty act," he says. "By the time I was 17, I started playing with a Motown band.
"I got thrown right into it. When you're like 17 and get thrown into the bar scene, you learn really quick.
"I tended to hang out with people older than me," Deputy says. "I'm in my 30s now and I tend to hang out with people way younger than me."
His unique musical style started when Deputy's bass player had to miss a show. Rather than cancel the gig, Deputy used a delay pedal as a looping pedal.
Today he loops and layers chord progressions, bass, beat boxing, drum sounds, vocals and guitar.
Four microphones are used. One is a vocal synthesizer for choir sounds; the second is used for hi-hat, snare and back-beat drums; the third is for the main vocals; and the fourth is used for vocal bass or bass drum.
Each show is different. In fact, diehard fans seek out live recordings of particular shows because each is so unique.
"I'm not as fixed on the technical aspects of music as how it makes you feel,' Deputy says. "If you listen to really old records, the techniques are horrible but it can still make you cry.
"Today's production values are amazing but it does nothing for you inside. Soul is the most important to me."
With as many as 300 shows a year, Deputy is almost always touring. A chance to play Savannah is rare.
"I'm playing at home for a change," he says. "It's nice to be at home on New Year's Eve.
"This year we went all the way to California, all the way up to Washington state, Costa Rica and most of Canada," Deputy says. "It's like a roller coaster."
While most performances are one-man-band looping shows, there is a Zach Deputy Band, and he also does acoustic storyteller shows. Deputy has played large festivals, including Jam Cruise, Mountain Jam, High Sierra Music Festival, Gathering of the Vibes and All Good Music Festival.
Deputy has recorded three albums: "Out of the Water" in 2008, "Sunshine" in 2009 and "Another Day" in 2011. He also recorded an EP, "Into the Morning," in 2011.
Song writing is very important to Deputy.
"That's my main forte," he says. "I write about life and everything in it. I take every song I can get from God.
"I never know when inspiration will strike. The magic of writing a song is knowing when a song is there.
"You don't sit down and say, 'I'm going to write a song,'" Deputy says. "It's more, 'This is a song I need to put down on paper.'"
For Deputy, song writing is a way to record memories.
"It's the way I take pictures so I can remember something later," he says. "Some people write about life. When I have something I want to remember and be memorialized, that's when I write a song."
Having such an interesting job has led to some memorable experiences on the road.
"There was this one time I was playing at Lake Murray in Columbia, S.C.," Deputy says. "We had set up and were going to play on a sandbar.
"There were 1,200 people out there, some in boats and some on the sand bar. It was probably our second song when the sky just fell out and everybody held a tarp over my head for a 20-minute song.
"They protected me from the rain," he says. "It was surreal and awesome to be playing under a tarp. It's funny the moments you have that you remember."
The critics are wild about Deputy Â- not that he cares.
"Critics are gonna say what they're gonna say," he says. "The opinion that matters is your own.
"Every artist has good days and nights. As an artist, you should be doing something nobody's ever done before."
In addition to music, Deputy is passionate about disc golf and is a celebrity ambassador for Innova Discs. He hosted Zach Deputy's Disc Jam, a combined music and disc golf festival in March 2013 in Live Oak, Fla.
"It's hard to find outside time on the road," Deputy says. "I'm a purpose-driven person.
"I can't go walk just to walk. I would rather walk six miles just to find a waterfall.
"With disc golf, there's always another cage to walk to," he says. "I didn't think I'd fall in love, but it holds so many parables to life."
Disc golf is a great teaching tool, Deputy says.
"It's a lesson in life," he says. "I love the physical part of it, but I also like the mind war.
"You can pysch yourself out in the mind. You realize the connection between what you think, what you feel and the outcome.
"Music is like that, too," Deputy says. "The more skills you have, the more confidence you have, and the more confidence you have, the more skills you are going to have."
It all makes for an interesting life.
"Every single night of my life is different," Deputy says. "I do it that way so I never get bored. I just think it's such a gift I got to wing it through life on talent.
"I'd like to hang out with all my teachers just so I could tell them, 'I told you so.' My teachers would say, 'That's a dream.' It would be fun to hang out with them and say, 'Look what happens when you blindly follow your dream.'"