Written by Craig Fleisch
Just before the shit hit the storm in 2020, I had the honour of seeing the Marcus King Band perform live for the first time in Vancouver. At the time King, only 23 years of age, had established himself as an electrifying rock performer with a musical maturity that goes way beyond his age.
Marcus started learning guitar at age three. A fourth-generation musician, Marcus has followed in his family’s footsteps and has played professionally since he was only 11 years old. He always knew he wanted to make music his passion. King was raised in Greenville, South Carolina, and brought up on the blues, playing shows as a pre-teen beside his father – bluesman Marvin King. He inherited his gift for music from both his grandfather who was a country guitarist and his father, who continues to perform live.
King dropped out of high school and decided to pursue music, specifically guitar. The South Carolina native took an academic approach to music, studying his favourite guitar players, including the great The Allman Brothers Band, B.B. King, Albert King, Waylon Jennings and Merle Haggard. He also studied Jazz theory and performance.
During 2020, he linked up with Dan Auerbach, lead singer of The Black Keys and together they cut his solo debut El Dorado, garnering a GRAMMY® Award nomination in the category of “Best Americana Album. Fast forward to the present day, the duo is back and last year recorded his latest album titled Young Blood from Easy Eye Sound Studio in Nashville. This album is a collection of 11 rock n roll songs which King states is sure to make arenas and asses shake. (See track list below)
King is now on the North American leg of his worldwide tour. He is back in Vancouver for the second time on May 16th, 2022 at Vancouver’s famous Commodore Ballroom. The Marcus King Band features Jack Ryan on drums and percussion, Stephen Campbell on bass, Dean Mitchell on saxophone, and Justin Johnson on trumpet, trombone and backing vocals — their sound is deeply soulful, led by King they bring sheer musical command to every performance.
For those not familiar with King’s music. He is a gifted guitarist and innovative songwriter—on-stage he can switch from head swaggering rock to hip shaking soul — King’s voice is soulful, raw and gritty combined with his virtuoso instrumental talent is what’s really special about him.
You can hear the influences, but it all comes through him in his own unique way. He has one of those voices that instantly draws you in, and his guitar playing is an extension of his voice and vice versa.
When it comes to writing, King says it’s a simple process. “The majority of our songs are specific to situations I’ve lived,” King explains. “I write as a form of therapy, to release my emotions into a musical expression. I want people to know they’re not the only ones going through that pain. Music is the true healer. And when we perform, we want the audience to leave feeling as tired and as emotionally freed as we do. It’s all about getting the stress of the day off your chest. It’s like therapy.”
Make a point of checking out Marcus King. He is a phenom in the Southern Rock/Blues scene and if you’re a fan of either those genres you’d be remissed not to see him perform live. There are still tickets available for tonight’s show, visit ticketmaster.ca for more information.
Young Blood tracklist
- “It’s Too Late”
- “Lie Lie Lie”
- “Rescue Me”
- “Good and Gone”
- “Blood on the Tracks”
- “Hard Working Man”
- “Aim High”
- “Dark Cloud”
- “Blues Worse Than I Ever Had”