Blues and Soul Music Magazine

Issue 1101

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Marcus King: Royal Blues

Marcus King
Marcus King Marcus King Marcus King Marcus King

"Oh, my gosh, it's the way that I love to work. [Dan] Auerbach has a process that aligns so well with my spirit." Blues guitar hero, Marcus King shares on the process of making his new solo project "El Dorado" and his collaboration with Black Keys frontman Dan Auerbach. At just twenty-three years old the Greenville, South Carolina native has already been dubbed a phenomenon and with his new album co-written by industry heavyweights including Dan Auerbach, Ronnie Bowman, Paul Overstreet and Pat McLaughlin, King looks set for major future success. Emerging on the music scene in 2013 with The Marcus King Band, he and his tight crew of musicians released 2015's "Soul Insight" followed soon after by "The Marcus King Band" album, which hit number 2 in the Billboard Blues album chart, while 2018's "Carolina Confessions" produced by Grammy Award winner, Dave Cobb, garnered critical praise. Displaying a plethora of sonic influences from the past and present, King has personally defined the band's sound as "Jazz-fusion, psychedelic Southern rock".

In the six years short since it's inception The Marcus King Band has played Eric Clapton's famed guitar festival Crossroads, toured with country star Chris Stapleton and King himself recently took to the stage of Nashville's legendary venue The Grand 'Ole' Opry, a performance which he dedicated to his grandfather. Even with a jammed packed touring schedule, B&S managed to grab the busiest man in blues for a quick chat”. That's how I like to work. You know, we actually cut eighteen songs in three days and the twelve are the ones that we chose to put on the record so it was non stop work. We worked from ten in the morning till twelve at night for those three days."

Of his recent gospel-infused foot-stomper of a single "The Well" Marcus says "That track, just how you hear it, that's what we cut and printed that night, we didn't do anything else to it. It just sounded exactly how we wanted it to sound without putting anything more to it. The song just came together organically and we kind of listened to the vibe of the studio. That song really set the pace for the rest of the record too" Marcus continues.

With "El Dorado" already gaining steam due to singles "The Well" and "Say You Will" before it's release in mid-January 2020, it is an exhilarating time for Marcus King the solo artist. However, he is keen to let fans know that there is also more to come from the band. On the future of MKB Marcus adds "The Marcus King Band, we are getting in the studio this March and hopefully, we'll have a live record out this coming year, it's going to be a big year for MKB and also for the solo record”.

"Yeah, we can't wait to come back and see you guys. [The UK] is one of my favourite places in the world to travel to, everyone treats us real nice”. King says of the current world tour. “[The audiences are] very hospitable. It's a hospitality like I've only seen in my home region of the south of the United States so coming there always feels good. Then, like you said about playing on stage, it's where I feel the most comfortable so if there's a stage available for me to play on I feel immediately at home. When we come to see you it will be The Marcus King Band. Everything. Future dates… everything is Marcus King Band".

Of his new beautifully soulful ballad "Wildflowers & Wine" a song inspired by the woman for whom Marcus' drove from South Carolina to Virginia, King reveals "I think she likes the song, it's fair to say. I wrote it about a special day. You know, I was driving, it's like a seven-hour drive, you know. It was just a really beautiful day. I saw some wildflowers and I picked 'em and I picked up some wine and we danced. It was a wonderful evening and I am really happy I was able to put it down into words with the help of Ronnie Bowman and Dan Auerbach, I was able to get those words across".

You can read more from Karen Lawler's exclusive interview with blues superstar Marcus King in the latest issue of Blues & Soul magazine - click the 'BUY NOW' link below to order straight from the B&S shop or read on for high street retailer details...

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Words Karen Lawler

From Jazz Funk & Fusion To Acid Jazz

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