Son of a Bluesman

With an all-new band and album in the works, Marcus King hits the stage in his hometown
When I last spoke with Marcus King, the young, incredibly talented blues guitarist from right here in Greenville, we were talking about the reissue of his 2014 album, “Soul Insight.”

The album, a great sampler of King’s lethal guitar playing, funky rhythms and offbeat humor, was really just a precursor to what was coming, he told me. He had an all-new band, they were recording an album for Allman Bros/Gov’t Mule guitarist Warren Haynes’ label, Evil Teen Records (with Haynes producing), and at the ripe age of 19, King was about to embark on the biggest year of his career.

I recently spoke again with Marcus, son of Upstate blues guitar great Marvin King. He and the band are in Stanford, Conn., where he and his band (drummer Jack Ryan, keyboard player Matt Jennings, bassist Stephen Campbell and horn player Justin Johnson) are recording their new album, tentatively set for a late-summer release.

“Things are just going great,” King says. “It’s going really smoothly. Warren is a dream to work with and our vision for the record is really meshing.” King says that Haynes as a producer strikes just the right tone.

“He offers a lot of great suggestions, but he allows us to have the freedom of creating, and his arrangement skills are incredible,” King says. “He’s taking these ideas and compositions we’re coming up with and turning them into actual songs.”

The first Marcus King Band record was made with an almost entirely different group of musicians, and King says that, after a year and a half of playing together, the new group has come into its own as a unit.

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