Blues by the Numbers

 Photo: Emily Butler

Photo: Emily Butler


via Guitar Player

For Marcus King, the performance begins with the set list

We identified Marcus King as a “person of extreme interest” long before he cracked his 20s. We even put him on the cover of our September 2017 issue.

Now just 22 years old, King is already a veteran of the road and a leading flag bearer for modern blues and blues rock. He sings like an old soul with demons on his tail and gets colossal tones from his grandfather’s ’62 Gibson ES-345. No less than Warren Haynes — who produced King’s most recent album, The Marcus King Band (Fantasy Records) — calls him “the first young player I’ve heard since Derek Trucks who plays with such soul and emotional maturity.” We caught up with the blues guitar phenom to find out how he works his magic onstage.

What’s your most surprising method for achieving stunning live performances?

I never write the set list the night before. I just can’t do it, especially if I haven’t seen the venue or know what kind of fan base to expect. We like to walk around and feel the town out — see what kind of vibe the audience is going to bring to us. For festival sets, I like to know how the band performs right before us. If they just ripped everybody’s faces off, then we’re going to start with something a little more laid back and not try to immediately match that energy level. I’m always writing the set list in the dressing room just before we hit the stage.

How much do you amend your studio arrangements for the stage?

We definitely have to road test a song for about a month before it actually feels done. We’re just like, “This one part is shit. We need to get that out of there.” Also, some of the tunes we do in the studio are kind of smooth in an almost R&B sense, and when we play them live, we realize they’re dragging a bit. So we’ll push the tempo or rough it up.

Is it difficult to keep the band growing and evolving when you’re on the road so much?

It can be a chore, but wherever we’re touring in our van, we keep the music we listen to pretty open so that we can be inspired by different things. We all really love Wu-Tang Clan as well as new artists such as [U.S. folk singer-songwriter] Margaret Glaspy and [neo-soul guitarist] Nick Hakim. Then I always go back to [funk acts] Soulive, Lettuce and bands like that. You never know when those road-listening sessions will creep into soundchecks or rehearsals as new ideas.

How can a guitarist seek to develop a unique and individual live sound?

When I was a lot younger, I stopped listening to guitar players pretty consciously for a couple of years. I made the decision that I didn’t want to sound like Stevie Ray Vaughan or any of my heroes. Instead, I checked out Coltrane, Miles Davis, a lot of organ players and lots of vocalists. I always wanted to emulate Janis Joplin’s screech through an amplifier, so that started my search for a unique guitar tone. I also messed with phrasing from the styles of Etta James, Billie Holiday, Otis Redding and James Brown.

I don’t think there are necessarily any wrong answers here, other than not discovering your own voice. I think as long as you’re coming at it from the right mental place — which is to get something out that represents yourself purely — then every choice you make is probably a good choice.

Peach Music Festival 2018: 10 Best Things We Saw

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via Rolling Stone

Best Southern Fusion: The Marcus King Band
While the Marcus King Band’s Southern rock, blues and soul influences are evident in their own music, the group isn’t afraid to be a live jukebox. Led by the mighty voice of its namesake and frontman, the six-piece, with horns and organ, delivered the haunting roots-rock of “Goodbye Carolina” and sharp-edged R&B with “Virginia.” But they also nodded to the festival founders when they played original Southern-psych tune “Self-Hatred” into the Allman Brothers Band’s “Dreams.” The set highlight: nailing a medley that bridged their own “Sharry Barry” with Chicago’s “25 or 6 to 4” and Funkadelic’s “I’ll Stay,” a barrage of jazz and funk fusion led by King’s ferocious guitar work.

Pigeons Playing Ping Pong Welcomes Marcus King & The Royal Horns At The Peach Fest

via L4LM

On Thursday night, The Peach Festival kicked off, marking the start of one of the most highly anticipated music festivals of the summer. While today will see the festival expand to three stages by opening the Grove Stage, Thursday night still offered fans plenty of music to enjoy across the Peach and Mushroom Stage, the latter which was held down by Harrison Waxenberg of Horizon Wireless who recently released a sensational jam-band remix album.

To kick off the festivities, The Marcus King Band started things off with a fiery, soulful performance, followed up by bluegrass act Cabinet, who came out of their recent indefinite hiatus to perform for The Peach crowd. Ahead of New York-based funk act Turkuaz and Vermont-born jam quartet Twiddleclosing out the Peach Stage, the fan-favorite jam-funk fusion group out of Baltimore, Pigeons Playing Ping Pong, took the stage and offered a high-octane performance of their own.

As to be expected at festivals where numerous artists are on deck before and after their sets, Pigeons Playing Ping Pong took advantage of the musicians who were joining them on the Thursday lineup for The Peach. After electrifying takes on “Whoopie” and “Porcupine” to start the set, Pigeons invited out The Royal Horns—the young standout horn section for The Marcus King Band—for the group’s energized classic “F.U.”, with the horns’ presence hinting at another special guest who would join the band later in the evening.

With the departure of The Royal Horns, the band moved through two additional fan-favorite numbers, “Havana” and “Julia”, easily enrapturing the crowd with their fun-loving and propulsive sound. However, one of the truly standout moments of the set was the band’s take on “Lightning”, which saw the group welcome Marcus King. Predictably, the performance was exactly as you’d expect, with Pigeons guitarist Jeremy Schon and the young guitar prodigy going off and exchanging fiery solos during the song’s jam portion.

Marcus King Band Announces Carolina Confessions Tour


With over 60 worldwide dates already slated for the remainder of 2018, the fast-rising Marcus King Band is on a mission to create a fresh musical experience that ties together rock, blues, and soul into a distinctly Southern lineage. Today, they announce the Carolina Confessions Tour, escalating their combustible live show to a new class of ballrooms and theatres across North America.

Joined by special guest Ida Mae, the Marcus King Band will hit the road for more than a dozen dates through November and December, including New York, Nashville, and Boston, following a stint on the Tedeschi Trucks Band's Wheels of Soul Tour - see dates below. In September, they've already sold out one headlining night at the Troubadour in Los Angeles, and added a second, while forcing next month's Austin stop to a room double the capacity following overwhelming demand.

The Carolina Confessions Tour fan pre-sale starts at 12pm EST this Wednesday, July 18th, with the general on-sale 10am local time Friday, July 20th.

"One of music's next great guitarists" (Washington Post), the 22-year-old King has been writing songs, performing onstage for half his lifetime and fronting his own groups for nearly a decade. Since he was a teenager, he's been trading licks with famous fans and mentors Warren Haynes and Derek Trucks whenever their paths have crossed. This fall, he prepares to release a new project that unveils his rapidly maturing artistic vision - more info coming soon.

Find the new Carolina Confessions dates bolded below, and check out all upcoming tour stops here, including the return of the band's own Marcus King Band Family Reunion Festival October 5th-6th in Black Mountain, NC.

Marcus King Band Tour Dates
7.17 @ Artpark Amphitheater in Lewiston, NY^
7.18 @ KeyBank Pavilion in Burgettstown, PA^
7.19 @ Peach Music Festival in Scranton, PA
7.20 @ Farmer's Bureau Insurance Lawn in Indianapolis, IN^
7.21 @ Freedom Hill Amphitheatre in Sterling Heights, MI^
7.22 @ PNC Pavilion at Riverbend Music Center in Cincinnati, OH^
7.25 @ BankPlus Amphitheatre at Snowden Grove in Southaven, MS^
7.26 @ Fox Theatre in St. Louis, MO^
7.28 @ Red Rocks Amphitheater in Morrison, CO^
7.29 @ Red Rocks Amphitheater in Morrison, CO^
7.31 @ Slowdown in Omaha, NE
8.1 @ Knuckleheads Saloon in Kansas City, MO
8.3 @ Plaza Theatre in Glasgow, KY
8.4 @ The Werk Out Music & Arts Festival in Thornville, OH
8.16 @ Greenfield Lake Amphitheatre in Wilmington, NC
8.17 @ The Birchmere - Flex Stage in Alexandria, VA
8.18 @ Hot August Music Festival in Cockeysville, MD
8.19 @ Burley Oak Brewery in Berlin, MD
8.22 @ Duling hall in Jackson, MS**
8.23 @ Tipitina's in New Orleans, LA**
8.24 @ House of Blues - Bronze Peacock in Houston, TX**
8.25 @ Mohawk in Austin, TX**
8.26 @ House of Blues - Cambridge Room in Dallas, TX**
8.29 @ Sunshine Theater in Albuquerque, NM**
8.30 @ The Green Room in Flagstaff, AZ**
8.31 @ Crescent Ballroom in Phoenix, AZ**
9.1 @ 191 Toole in Tucson, AZ**
9.4 @ Belly Up in Solana Beach, CA**
9.5 @ Troubadour in West Hollywood, CA**
9.6 @ Troubadour in West Hollywood, CA**
9.7-9.9 @ Big Blues Bender in Las Vegas, NV**
9.10 @ The Catalyst - Atrium in Santa Cruz, CA**
9.11 @ Great American Music Hall in San Francisco, CA**
9.12 @ Mystic Theatre in Petaluma, CA**
9.14 @ The CommonWealth Room in South Salt Lake City, UT**
9.15 @ Telluride Blues & Brews in Telluride, CO
9.18 @ Bourbon Theater in Lincoln, NE**
9.21 @ Zydeco in Birmingham, AL**
9.22 @ Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion in Bristol, TN
9.26 @ Thalia Hall in Chicago, IL**
9.27 @ Amsterdam Bar and Hall in Saint Paul, MN**
9.28 @ Gabe's in Iowa City, IA**
9.30 @ Turner Hall Ballroom in Milwaukee, WI**
10.5 @ The Marcus King Band Family Reunion in Black Mountain, NC
10.6 @ The Marcus King Band Family Reunion in Black Mountain, NC
10.10 @ Cigale in Paris, France
10.11 @ Café Charbon in Coulanges-les-nevers, France
10.12 @ Arcadium in Annecy, France
10.13 @ Avignon BluesFestival in Avignon, France
10.15 @ Santeria Social Club in Milano, Italy
10.16 @ Kaufleuten Festsaal in Zurich, Switzerland
10.17 @ Rockfabrik in Ludwigsburg, Germany
10.18 @ Batschkapp in Frankfurt Am Main, Germany
10.19 @ Columbia Theater in Berlin, Germany
10.21 @ Knust in Hamburg, Germany
10.22 @ Paradiso Noord in Nieuw-amsterdam, Netherlands
10.25 @ The Fleece in Bristol, United Kingdom
10.26 @ Islington Assembly Hall in London, United Kingdom
10.27 @ Night & Day Café in Manchester, United Kingdom
10.28 @ Stereo in Glasgow, United Kigdom
11.7 @ Cannery Ballroom in Nashville, TN*
11.8 @ Songbirds South in Chattanooga, TN*
11.10 @ Volcano Room at Cumberland Caverns in McMinnville, TN*
11.12 @ Jefferson Theater in Charlottesville, VA*
11.13 @ The Stone Pony in Asbury Park, NJ*
11.16 @ Irving Plaza in New York, NY
11.17 @ Pearl Street in Northampton, MA*
11.18 @ The Sinclair in Cambridge, MA*
11.21 @ Aura in Portland, ME*
11.23 @ Higher Ground Ballroom in South Burlington, VT*
11.24 @ Cohoes Music Hall in Cohoes, NY*
11.26 @ Phoenix Concert Theatre in Toronto, ON*
11.29 @ The Loft in Lansing, MI*
11.30 @ Elevation in Grand Rapids, MI*
12.4 @ Mercury Ballroom in Louisville, KY*

1.20 @ Island Exodus 10 in Runaway Bay, Jamaica

^Wheels of Soul Tour w/ Tedeschi Trucks Band and Drive-By Truckers
*w/ Ida Mae
**w/ Bishop Gunn

Tedeschi Trucks Band Welcomes Allman Brothers Band’s Jaimoe, Marcus King, & More In Hartford [Videos]

via Live For Live Music

Last night, the 2018 Wheels of Soul Tour continued, as Tedeschi Trucks Band, Drive-By Truckers, and The Marcus King Band made their way to Hartford, CT’s Xfinity Theatre.

The collaborations have already gotten underway on this year’s edition of Tedeschi Trucks Band’s annual multi-band tour, with Eric Krasno and Tash Neal joining them at SPAC, Marcus King sitting-in in his native South Carolina, and Derek Trucks and Drive-By Truckers’ Patterson Hood trading guest spots in Tuscaloosa.

The performance in Hartford was no different. First, Trucks joined the Marcus King Band during their set for “Self-Hatred”, the song he recorded with King as part of MKB’s self-titled 2016 album. Watch fan-shot footage of the collaboration below:

Then, when Tedeschi Trucks Band took the stage for their own headlining performance, they did so with Allman Brothers Band drummer Jaimoe in tow to bolster their percussion section for the majority of their show. But that wasn’t all—Keyboardist Carey Frank, who subbed in for Kofi Burbridge while he was on medical leave last year, jumped in for a few songs, as did Marcus King, who lent his beyond-his-years bluesman grit to Elmore James classic “The Sky Is Crying”. The set also featured TTB’s first rendition of Blind Faith classic “Had To Cry Today” since last year’s Beacon Theatre residency, as well as a jam on jazz standard “Afro Blue” that gave Jaimoe a chance to shine.

To close their set, Tedeschi Trucks Band welcomed back King and his horn section, comprised of Justin Johnson and Dean Mitchell, as well as Jaimoe to help them through Joe Tex‘s “Show Me”, a song that’s become a setlist staple this tour. Finally, the Marcus left the stage but Justin, Dean, and Jaimoe remained for the encore, which began with a rare rendition of Roosevelt Sykes‘ “Night Time Is The Right Time” before closing out with “Will The Circle Be Unbroken?” and “Bound For Glory”.

Infectious love of music spreads at Tuscaloosa Amp


If you like to stare at pretty guitars, you probably nestled into a seat at the Tuscaloosa Amphitheater last weekend to salivate over the SGs and Telecasters and marvel at what people like Derek Trucks, Marcus King and the Drive-By Truckers could do with them.

Not to slip into the trap of using cliched guitar verbs like shred, wail or face-melt, but the sounds whirling through that venue cut so deep at times, it's hard to express it otherwise. It just hits on a gut level, and all anyone wants to do is close their eyes and dance along. That said, the talent and musicianship of everyone who touched the stage is certainly beyond my own comprehension, starting with the youngin from South Carolina.

On a pleasant but oh-so-muggy night in T-town, Marcus King Band from Greenville kicked things off at 6:30 p.m. sharp, with the young lead vocalist and guitarist introducing the Druid City to a talent we'll surely hear more about sooner than later. Raspy-voiced and quite genial, King juggled singing and lead guitar duties without a lot of effort, eagerly moving from one solo to the next.

Keep an eye on this group on the festival circuit moving forward.

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Family Reunion Tickets On Sale Now!

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Tickets for the 2nd Annual Family Reunion October 5+6 at Pisgah Brewing in Black Mountain, NC are officially ON SALE NOW! Early Bird tickets sold out fast, so we highly encourage you to purchase your tickets now if you're thinking about coming. This year's festival will feature two sets by MKB along with performances by The RevivalistsBilly StringsDevon Allman Project (ft. Duane Betts)Nikki LaneCarl Broemel (of MMJ)Naughty ProfessorGeoff AchisonDeRobert & The Half TruthsShady RecruitsSteelism, and more to be announced!

Two Day Pass: $99.50
Hopster VIP: $209.50
2-Day GA Ticket for October 5 and 6
Entry to the private "Pre-Union" show Thursday, October 4
Pisgah Tour/Tasting/Parking/Viewing Area
Signed Event Poster
Meet & Greet with Marcus King Band
"Family Photo" with Marcus King Band

2018 Family Reunion Lineup Announced


We're very excited to share the initial lineup for the 2nd Annual Marcus King Band Family Reunion taking place October 5-6 at Pisgah Brewing Company in Black Mountain, NC. In addition to two MKB performances, this year's event will also feature The Revivalists, Billy Strings, Devon Allman Project (ft. Duane Betts), Nikki Lane, Carl Broemel (of MMJ), Naughty Professor, Geoff Achison, DeRoberts & The Half Truths, Shady Recruits, Steelism, and more to be announced!

If you missed out on the sold out artist pre-sale, tickets and VIP Packages will go on sale to the general public starting 10a ET this Friday, June 29 via Eventbrite.

Early Bird Tier 2: $79.50
Two Day Pass: $99.50
Hopster VIP: $209.50

  • 2-Day GA Ticket for October 5 and 6
  • Entry to the private "Pre-Union" show Thursday, October 4
  • Pisgah Tour/Tasting/Parking/Viewing Area
  • Signed Event Poster
  • Meet & Greet with Marcus King Band
  • "Family Photo" with Marcus King Band