TAZ Joins Marcus King Band For Allmans Cover & More At “Family Reunion”

via  Live for Live Music

This past weekend from October 6th-7th at Pisgah Brewing Co in Black Mountain, NC, red-hot “psychedelic southern rock” stars The Marcus King Band hosted their first ever two-day festival, dubbed the Marcus King Band Family Reunion. In addition to two headlining sets from MKB, the event brought together an eclectic group of artists ranging from legends pushing 70 to youthful prodigies like King himself (the youngest, Brandon “TAZ” Niederauer, rounded out the low end of the spectrum at the ripe age 14). But age seemed to be of little importance at the Marcus King Band Family Reunion. All that mattered was whether your chops, and judging from the results, its clear that this inter-generational gathering of musicians meant business, top to bottom.

The “family” aspect of the inaugural Family Reunion event remained at the forefront of the festivities throughout the weekend, as guest sit-ins abounded. On Friday night, Marcus and company were joined by both Marcus’ father Marvin King (an acclaimed guitarist in his own right) and founding Allman Brothers Band percussionist Jaimoe for a pair of songs including a searing rendition of the Allmans’ “In Memory Of Elizabeth Reed.”

The collaborations ramped up from there for Saturday’s jam-packed schedule, which featured excitedly-received sets from People’s Blues of Richmond, Muddy Magnolias, Ron Holloway Band, and more. Marcus came out to join The Revivalists’ Dave Shaw for his solo set. TAZ made good on his “Artist-at-large” billing, as he also came out to sit in with Shaw, as well as George Porter Jr.’s Runnin Pardners.

However, it was TAZ’s appearance with the host band that produced some of the day’s most memorable highlights. As Brandon said in a FB post ahead of the headlining Marcus King Band & Family set on Saturday evening (along with a photo of the two young guitarists), “It’s about to go down!!!! Getting ready to hit the stage with The Marcus King Band — Thank you Marcus King for inviting me to play with you and your band. I always hoped this day would come.  #OneLove #BlessedBeyondMeasure”

The Marcus King Band & Family performance served as the weekend’s centerpiece, as the band had settled in and was playing at the top of their game. MKB also welcomed a slew of sit-ins over the course of the nearly three-hour long set, including a particularly memorable rendition of the Allmans’ “Dreams” featuring fiery back-and-forth between the King and Niederauer. Taz’s guest sit-in marked the first time these two young guitar luminaries had connected onstage, and the results were as entrancing as one might hope. With young talents like these two on the rise, the future looks bright for the craft of live music.

Marcus King Band Return Home for Family Reunion Festival

via Scene SC

THE MARCUS KING BAND FAMILY REUNION

October 6-7, 2017
Pisgah Brewing Company
Black Mountain, NC

8 a.m. EST isn’t the typical time you interview a touring musician, but with The Marcus King Band playing a string of dates in Europe it was high noon for them. The last two years have taken the band all around the world, from Fuji Rock Festival in Japan, all over the US and Canada, and twice to Europe this year alone.  To say it’s been a hectic year for Marcus King and his eponymous band is an understatement, and that’s what makes the two night The Marcus King Band Family Reunion shows all the sweeter. They’re finally home for a bit.

“A lot of my family is from the Blue Ridge Mountain area; that’s kind of where my roots are.” said King. “That’s the big reason why we’re having the festival up there, we are doing it in Black Mountain right at the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. That’s why it’s important for me to be in that region.”

Being on the road non-stop playing festivals with a wide variety of artists from Chris Stapleton to Bjork is the dream come true for a band already beyond their years, but it has its drawbacks too. King mentions how they’ve missed a lot of family reunions, a lot of birthdays, and a whole lot of family events. That goes not just for him, but the rest of the band who are all also from surrounding areas in the Upstate, Columbia, and Asheville. Friday and Saturday night bring those families together, both blood and musical.

“I went to Dave Shaw’s Big River Get Down and I saw what he was doing in his hometown and it’s beautiful and it’s benefitting his hometown and his people and having a good time doing it. And I saw that and thought it would be a great idea for us to do it, and the idea was kind of spawned to bring people that we consider to be like family members of ours that we have met along the way on the road, and also bring all our actually family together. So we can all break bread and have a good time together”

With the festival in its first year a lot of planning went in to making it right, and King found the time to have a big hand in that himself. It does after-all have his name on it. With the help of their production manger and North Carolina native Dave Cannon they worked hard to curate a stacked lineup and to make sure the festival runs smoothly.

Speaking about the festival you can hear the excitement and genuine emotion in Kings voice. “It’s really special and close to the heart, this is my baby and I’m really excited for the first year. And everyone has come down to be apart of it and spend time with us it’s just going to be about love and having a good time. We’re all making sure we have the proper steps taken care of before hand and all the proper hands so when we’re there we can focus the actual idea of it, which is the love and the energy we are all sharing.”

Being from South Carolina it makes sense if you run into The Marcus King Band, or hear them mentioned often, but sometimes it goes beyond that. A couple of months ago I was browsing through magazines at the library and there he was, King sitting and grinning with his Gibson Hollowbody on the front of Guitar Player magazine with the title ‘Youthquake’ written in all caps across the middle. Before that I turned on the TV one random Saturday morning and caught them playing on the CBS Saturday Morning show. And then there was SouthSounds music festival where they were the finale act of the three-day festival in Mobile, AL. The festival was filled with South Carolina acts and the city was buzzing with their name. Every conversation seemed to be about The Marcus King Band and their meteoric rise.

King points out that their music is a melting pot of styles that really brings people together and gets them talking, word of mouth has helped them out a lot along the way. Several times King referenced the journey that their on.

“You know it’s kind of played out thing to say, but the journey we all take together it’s something that people can kind of latch onto and ride a lot with us instead of just watching us.”

The journey will be a long one, and now they’re just getting it started. November and December will be the first time they’ve taken off in a long time, and that will finally give them a chance to reflect on just how far they’ve come, and where they’re headed. They already have international dates in France and Mexico booked for 2018. For the past two years they’ve focused on trying to play better than they played the day before. That’s a tall task, but something they’ve proven they’re capable of as they’re becoming one of the best soulful guitar driven bands in the country. Where does the road lead them?

“Man, I’m still looking, it’s a never-ending journey. Gregg Allman said it best “the road goes on forever.” I think the most important thing to be is realizing the journey is the destination in a sense. If I really every get where I’m going I’d be bored as hell, I would have nothing else to do.” says King as his voice trails off with laughter at the thought of boredom. 

Earlier this year Shovels & Rope hosted the inaugural Highwater Music Festival in their hometown of Charleston, similar in some ways to what King is doing in the foothills and his neck of the woods. The ethos is the same, to share the stage with friends, bring family along, and give back to the community the best they can. It’s a circular system that keeps everyone connected in a deep way. Sometimes when things get hard, it’s the music that holds us all together.

King says it best. “We’re just trying to bring some solidarity around in a really kind of fucked up world.”

Pre-Union on WNCW Today at 2p

 
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Thanks to everyone at WNCW for helping us kick off this weekend's festivities with last night's Pre-Union. Tune in to WNCW at 2p ET for some highlights from the performance.

We'll see y'all this evening at Pisgah Brewing Company with Blackberry Smoke, Jaimoe's Jasssz Band, BIG Something, The National Reserve and Alex Williams. There will be tickets available at the gate.

The Marcus King Band Brings Family Together at Pisgah Brewing

By Ali McGhee, Ash Vegas

On Friday and Saturday (Oct. 6-7), the lawn and outdoor stage at Pisgah Brewing will be filled with friends old and new. The Marcus King Band Family Reunion brings together musicians from the region in a lineup organizer Marcus King curated himself. It’s a way for some of the best area artists to play together, but it’s also an opportunity for something deeper: connection and community. Single-day and multi-day passes are on sale now for what’s sure to be a beautiful early fall weekend out in Black Mountain.

The Marcus King Band will play one set each day (the second with some special guests helping them out). Other artists include Blackberry Smoke, Big Something, George Porter Jr., and the People’s Blues of Richmond. A portion of proceeds from the event will go to two non-profits based in Greenville, S.C. (King’s hometown): Cannabis Forward, which works to raise awareness of marijuana’s medical benefits, and Mental Health America of Greenville County, a mental health advocacy, awareness, and service organization.

The impetus came from King’s own desire to see more of the people he loved, according to the event’s press release. King and his band have been all over the world in the last few years. Last year, they released their sophomore album, The Marcus King Band, which was produced by Warren Haynes. National media is taking notice of the group, as well: The Washington Post noted that “King is poised to be one of music’s next great guitarists-a virtuosic talent capable of playing blues, rock, country, R&B, soul and more.”

I spoke with King while the group was in Germany finishing up a European tour about what he’s been up to, and what the Reunion means to him.

You’ve been on the road a lot this past year. What, so far, has been your favorite place to play?

Red Rocks with Warren Haynes was certainly up there among our favorites. There are a lot of venues where we really love playing, but being there for the first time was really a magical experience—to have a show there and be able to play with Warren. And all my family came out. Everyone came to see us there. It felt like a really big step for the group and it was a lot of fun, too. There were no logistical nightmares.

This year it was definitely in our top five venues. Another one was at LOCKN’ Festival. It was a really an eye-opening event; there was a special presence there and a sense of solidarity. We were so close to Charlottesville location-wise and those events had just happened, all of the terrible things there. So everybody was really trying to stand together and love one another, but that weekend it was especially important to do so. There were a lot of like-minded people standing up for the right thing, and there were such a large amount of people considering the small area. The energy was great.

What venues in Asheville do you love? Pisgah is fantastic—how did you decide to throw this festival there?

Pisgah Brewing Company has always been one of my favorite venues in the country, and the more I travel I find it’s one of my favorite venues in the world. It’s just got a very warm atmosphere, and there’s a hometown feel to it. And Black Mountain and Asheville, this area, has always been a second hometown to me. I used to come up there a lot at about age 15, I would drive up and do a lot of gigs in Asheville, so I felt that connection really strongly when we started planning the event. I’m really glad to do it there. And the natural architecture of the stage is a big part of the sound. It’s incredible sound, the people there are incredible. The beer is very good too!

Tell me a little bit about the festival and what you’re most excited about for the weekend.

We’re really excited about the Family Jam, our closing set on the second night of festival. We’ll have a lot of special guests. My father will be there, and lots of local people from Asheville. The Brothership Horns, Alex Bradley, Simon George…Some really phenomenal musicians from Asheville and a lot of people from around, from all over the place, will share in the vibe.

Since you started playing music and performing so early in life, have you experienced any shifts in the way you compose, play, perform, or record?

I guess the best way to answer would be to say that all of us in the group agree that we try to grow musically and as human beings every day, no matter what we’re doing. We do it inadvertently as well. You see more, especially when you’re traveling. You see a lot, and it’s crazy because we’re all kind of in one concentrated area: our van. And all these things are going on around us, and we have smartphones now to see everything on the news, all the crazy things happening in the world right now, together. And it gives us a platform to stand on and promote the ideas of peace, love, and common sense at this point, ya know?

It’s a great place to be as a writer. It’s a scary time to be alive as a human being, but as a writer and as someone who creates instead of just being bummed out, we try to channel it into some form of creative output.

Can you tell me about the importance of vulnerability in your music? Many of your songs are very personal; how is vulnerability a part of your process?

Thank you for asking. It’s a very big part of me. Music has always been therapy for me. At first it was just a way to get it out, and I realized that—and I’ll try not to sound pretentious—but that people would appreciate it because they’re going through the same hurt as well. It’s nice to hear someone else is going through the same hurt. That was a reciprocation of it back to me. It kept me going, and I put more and more emotion into it. Music is a very vulnerable place, and playing live is a really vulnerable place to have yourself in as well. It’s a conversation between yourself and whoever is listening. You’ve just got to do it, and if they don’t care to listen or reciprocate, it’s like talking to yourself.

Why is the emphasis for this festival so much on family?

Well, it’s difficult to be home for any kind of anniversary or family get-together, so that’s another reason why the festival is called the Family Reunion. It’s my musical family, but the first day we’re going to have a picnic for my family because I never even get to see them.

Benton [Wharton] from Pisgah has been kind enough to let us use the grounds to have a real family reunion. In the early stages of planning the festival, he hit me up because of some logistical things that didn’t work out just right about a year ago, and he said, “We’re here to help, whatever you need, we’re really happy to be part of it.” That gave me that sense of community that I’ve always felt in Black Mountain and in Asheville.

And a good portion of tickets are going to benefit two charities I feel strongly about in Greenville. One is Mental Health Care America of Greenville. Mental health and depression are something that don’t get brought up enough or taken good care of. It’s seen as something that’s not an issue and it’s swept under the rug. The other is Cannabis Forward, a great organization advocating for the medical properties of cannabis. Both are in Greenville. I feel at home in Black Mountain and Asheville, but my real home is Greenville, so that’s where the charities are coming from this year. It’s my way of trying to share the love with 864.

What’s next after the festival for you guys? What are you looking forward to?

We’re really excited for the rest of our fall tour. We’re finishing up on Halloween in Gainesville, Florida, and we’re going to be taking a couple of weeks off and then getting into the studio in Memphis, Tennessee, and maybe some other places and finishing up the record. So for the first time in a couple years, we’ll have two months off to relax, work, and create. We start back just after Christmas for a New Year’s Run. We’re all really looking forward to the time off!

Tickets for the Marcus King Band Family Reunion are on sale now. The event kicks off on Friday, October 6 at 4:30 pm and ends at midnight on Saturday, October 7.

Smart Bets: The Marcus King Band Family Reunion

 
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via Mountain Xpress

Southern rock guitarist Marcus King and the members of his eponymous band are generally too busy working to attend family reunions — so the Greenville, S.C.-based musicians decided to organize their own gathering of musical kin at Pisgah Brewing Co. In addition to the hosts, the show on Friday, Oct. 6, will feature sets from Blackberry Smoke, Jaimoe’s Jassz Band, Big Something, National Reserve and Gabriel Kelley. On Saturday, Oct. 7, King and company bring David Shaw, Ron Holloway, Brandon “Taz” Niederauer, George Porter Jr. and more to the stage for guest spots. The closing day also includes a performance by Asheville’s Travers Brothership. A portion of proceeds benefits medical marijuana advocacy group Cannabis Forward and Mental Health America of Greenville County. Day passes are $38.50 advance/$45 day of show. Two-day passes are $67.50/$75. pisgahbrewing.com. Photo by Emily Butler

Due North EP Out October 27

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We're very excited to announce that we will be releasing a new four-song collection titled Due North on October 27. The digital-only EP features three songs from our sessions for our self-titled record with producer Warren Haynes, as well as a select live cut.

The Due North EP is a love note from the band of words we didn't get to say. Songs that are a big part of our live repertoire that we would like to share with everyone. Also included is a recording of the 'Sharry Barry' medley from Chicago last winter to give a taste of MKB recorded live.

Track List:

  1. What's Right
  2. This Ol' Cowboy
  3. Slip Back
  4. Sharry Barry/Sliced Milk/25 Or 6 To 4/I'll Stay/Gloomy Sunday (Live)

Keep an eye out for more information on the new EP!