The second track sees King and company offer up a playful and upbeat take on the Marshal Tucker Band’s, “This Ol’ Cowboy.” The song gives fans the opportunity to experience, on record, the interplay and balance between King’s resplendent guitar playing juxtaposed alongside the the band’s red hot horn section comprised of Justin Johnson on Trumpet and Dean Mitchell on Saxophone.
I imagine if the late Toy Caldwell of the Marshall Tucker Band somehow has access to Spotify or iTunes in the after life, he’s spinning this track repeatedly while likely sporting a mile-wide grin of approval and appreciation.
The final studio recorded track off of Due North, “Slip Back,” displays the kind of deliberate musical astriction that’s become a staple of the band’s trademark sound.
Showcasing King’s raspy southern vocals, the track slowly builds with Mitchell eventually stepping to the forefront to deliver a soulful saxophone solo, all before the band ramps up the energy to bring the song to a fiery conclusion.
The EP’s final track is a live conglomeration of the band’s own, “Sharry Berry,” followed by segue ways into Jeff Sipes, “Sliced Milk,” Chicago’s “25 or 6 To 4,” Funkadelics “I’ll Stay” and the Billie Holiday classic, “Gloomy Sunday.”
The song provides the perfect vehicle for showcasing the talents of Ryan, Campbell, Johnson and Mitchell while also cementing the fact that the band’s immense talent goes well beyond just Marcus King.
The EP itself came to life as part of the carriage house recording sessions from 2016 that ultimately yielded the Warren Hayne’s produced LP, the self-titled The Marcus King Band. Haynes, of Gov’t Mule and The Allman Brothers Band fame, once again brings his producing expertise to the table on Due North.
Due North certainly seems aptly titled as the direction of the Marcus King Band has and continues to be pointed directly towards the sky, the the moon, the stars and beyond.
It’s never too late to jump on the cosmic soul, funk and rock music fueled starship that is the Marcus King Band. As the Love Boat theme so brilliantly put it back in the 80’s, come on board, we’re expecting you.