TROY — Columbus-based Kelly Zullo & the Invisible Circus will bring funky, finger-picking acoustic guitar to downtown Troy on Saturday, Dec. 14, making a special appearance at the Leaf & Vine for a show starting at 9:30 p.m.
Known for her unique, high-energy playing style, Zullo has been featured in several national publications including Guitar magazine, which called her a “skilled, funky speed demon.” Her band, the Invisible Circus, is truly invisible; a one-woman-band, Zullo appears alone and plays all the instruments herself onstage.
“It’s just me,” Zullo said. “I play everything all by myself; I’m like a one-man-band. I have drum loops, and then I play the bass with my feet.”
“It’s finger-style guitar, funk, one-woman-band,” she said.
Zullo says her original style of playing evolved slowly, after years of playing shows out on the road. “It’s happened over several decades, actually,” she said. “I used to just be a very straight-ahead singer-songwriter. I was touring alone on the road for many years, and I wanted to find a way to get over the noisy crowd. So I started playing kind of a different fast, flat picking thing I was doing.”
“I’ve changed it into a finger-style technique,” she said. “So it’s evolved over the years.”
Zullo has released a total of six full-length albums over the years, which are available online at her web site, www.kellyzullo.com. Originally from Sarasota, Florida, she has been playing, recording and touring for over 25 years now. On the road, she even uses a custom-built van that she constructed herself, which functions as a camper, mobile studio and green room. “It’s really helpful,” she said. “We use it to go on the road, and we camp in it when we’re traveling.”
“This time of year, it’s too cold to use it,” she said. “But we used it on a trip we took to Ontario this summer; we camped out in it for a week and did gigs.”
Zullo also has her own recording studio that she uses to record material herself at home, instead of going to a commercial studio. “I’ve been to many, many studios,” she said. “I just recorded some stuff in Nashville earlier this year. But I do have my own studio at my house, and I try to do most of my work there because it’s free, and it’s just easier to go with the flow.”
Right now, Zullo is recording material for two separate albums that should be released sometime in the near future. “I’m working on a bunch of stuff,” she said. “It’s all like three-quarters of the way done; it’s got a really cool new sound with the finger-picking.”
“I’m working on two albums,” she said. “One is like an Americana album and the other one is like kind of the funky, left-of-center stuff.”