Music Scene: The Kernal, Zach Deputy

The Kernal will perform at the Tattooed Moose on Saturday.

Introducing the quirky honky-tonk energy to the melody of classic rock and the bluesy soul of classic country, The Kernal isn't easy to understand.

The Jackson, Tenn.-based singer and songwriter's music enjoys what his biography describes as a "Southern mystique," something that hints at either design or paranormal in The Kernal's ambiguity and indefinably haunting music style.

His father, Charlie Garner, spent a career playing music with the likes of Sleepy LaBeef and Del Reeves, as well as serving many years as bassist in the Grand Ole Opry house band.

Garner played with Reeves until the singer's passing in 2007; only months later Garner also passed away, prompting The Kernal to pick up the torch and carry on the family's country pedigree.

In truth, it may be as much of his father spinning these outstanding musical yarns as it is The Kernal himself.

Born Joe Garner, The Kernal was a frustrated musician who had admittedly grown bored with the music he was making when his father died. In a previous interview, The Kernal says he went into the attic, found his dad's Grand Ole Opry suit and put it on.

Symbolic or literal, the questions that follow perhaps don't matter as the music that followed seems to provide enough of an answer.

There's a ghostly channeling of honky-tonk country and early era folk-blues that is so perfectly authentic the only thing modern about it is the recording quality.

Something happened in that attic when Joe Garner became The Kernal, and it's all buried in the deceptively complex songs of a severely underappreciated new throwback country star.

The Kernal & His New Strangers will perform Saturday at the Tattooed Moose, 1137 Morrison Drive. The show is free but acts as a toy drive for the Carolina Youth Development Center, so make sure to bring an unwrapped toy. Doors open at 9 p.m.

Call 277-2990 or go to

Zach Deputy has spent the last several years honing his funk-laden, soul-spewing brand of reggae-rock and touring his beloved region to perform for his dedicated fan base.

A South Carolina native, Deputy began touring the country with various bands throughout his early 20s before landing in Savannah to embark on a solo career. What he found there was a natural talent for songwriting and his distinct baritone voice that oozes soulful honesty and playful harmony.

Deputy's well-known work ethic led him to perform nearly 300 shows a year and record four albums in three years as he developed a grassroots following across the East Coast.

Deputy will perform Saturday at The Pour House, 1977 Maybank Highway. Tickets are $12 in advance, $15 the day of the show, and are available at the door or online at Doors open at 9 p.m.

Go to or call 571-4343.