Marcus King Quickly Evolves To A Lister Guitarist Band Leader


via Glide Magazine

He may be young but Marcus King has the fastest old blues fingers around today. With only three recordings under his belt, the just-turned 22-year-old from South Carolina has already made a name for himself in the blues/jamband scene, having shared stages with the Tedeschi Trucks Band, Widespread Panic, Blackberry Smoke and Warren Haynes, who has become a sort of rock & roll godfather to the up & coming musician, producing his 2016 self-titled album and playing on the track, “Virginia.”

But as 2018 gets rolling, King has a lot more on his plate. Currently on tour in France with his band, when he returns to the States next month, he will be playing with Chris Robinson’s new outfit, As The Crow Flies, before summer dates opening for TTD and Drive-By Truckers. And amid all this action, he is planning on releasing a new album.

For those who haven’t discovered this young man, he has the genes for the blues. Both his father and grandfather have deep guitar-playing roots so it was inevitable that some of that passion for music would filter down into the third generation of King men. Just who knew it would manifest itself so early in Marcus King’s life. He was around eight when the talent really started showing and by his teens he was sitting in with his father’s band. In 2015, he released his debut, Soul Insight, followed a year later by the steamy, horns-a-blazing, guitar screaming eponymous album, which also featured Trucks on the very personal “Self-Hatred.” In October, King and his band released a 4-song EP, Due North, featuring a knock-the-wind-out-of-your-lungs barn-burner of a live jam. If that didn’t convince you to buy a ticket to his nearest show, you weren’t paying attention.

So with all this going for the shy young man who comes alive when the spotlight hits him, Glide spoke to King about the blues, expanding his exploration of music and the impact of Warren Haynes.

Your band has been evolving pretty fast in a short period of time.What have you seen as the major changes happening with you guys?

I guess overall our approach to the live show.Coming from playing a lot of smaller clubs where a lot of times people wouldn’t be paying attention to us really and then that started to change and it started to turn into more of a show atmosphere. We still continue to play for each other and try to outdo what we did ourselves the night before, but it’s also a time where we’ve been growing and trying to make it more of a show and play for the audiences there.

Not all bluesmen put horns in their music. Why was it important for you to start incorporating that element into your band’s music?

I always wanted to produce the largest sound possible for our music and our music has always just been a representation of our innermost thoughts and wants and concerns and desires, you know. I’ve always written what I’ve felt and that’s been interpreted often as blues but we just kind of see it as like a representation of our emotions and our musical context. And horns have always been a large part of that, just adding another layer of flavor to the cake we’re baking (laughs).

Who are some artists that take the blues and rock and put funk and soul and horns into it that you look to for inspiration?

There’s a lot of bands that we get a lot of motivation from, bands that we see on the road and friends of ours, like Soulive and Lettuce; we really love hearing Nathaniel Rateliff& The Night Sweats and Lukas Nelson & The Promise Of The Real and bands like Antibalas.We love that kind of stuff. So there’s bands all over the spectrum that just give us a lot of positive energy; like Naughty Professor is another group I forgot to mention.It drives us to work harder and harder.

Tell us what horns you have in your band

On the trumpet and trombone and auxiliary percussion, we have Justin Johnson, who is from Greenville, South Carolina. We also have on the tenor saxophone, baritone saxophone and the flute and another auxiliary percussion, we have Dean Mitchell from Asheville, North Carolina. They are tight, man, and pride themselves on being a tight section and add a lot of flavorto the mix.

Do you think in the so-called jamband scene today that it’s maybe moving too far away from its guitar base in favor of more like electronic-minded sounds?

Well, my opinion with that is I think music is just a spectrum, it doesn’t have to be guitar-oriented or electronic-oriented. It just is music and that’s, I think, the beautiful thing about the jam scene.A lot of bands that have had a hard time kind of explaining what it is they are or what they do, the jam scene has been a really good home for artists like ourselves and Umphrey’s McGee, for example; just bands that haven’t been really able to say, “We play THIS type of music.” We found ourselves at a lot of like country festivals where people scratched their heads and at a lot of blues festivals where people scratched their heads,cause we’re playing like “War Pigs” or something like that. Not to go too far off, but I guess I’ve never really seen it as a guitar-oriented genre.It’s an amalgam of genres, basically, is what it is.

Your dad is a musician. How early did he put a guitar in your hands?

There was always one around the house so I was plucking away at one from the time I can remember, three or four.

Which one did you gravitate to?

The first guitar that really grabbed me was a Gibson SG. I remember seeing that and just falling in love with everything about that guitar. And I still am (laughs).

Is that your primary guitar?

Yeah, Gibson is my favorite brand. They’ve been sweethearts to work with me. My primary guitar of choice is the Gibson 345. I saw my grandfather playing it all the time and I don’t take that one out of the house as much anymore cause it’s sentimental value. But Gibson was kind enough to make me one similar to my grandfather’s that I use so if it goes missing I’ll still cry but I won’t cry as long (laughs).

What was the toughest song you tried to learn to play on guitar when you started?

I guess the toughest one was either “Donna Lee” by Charlie Parker or “Twelve Keys” by Jimmy Herring. Just the way they played, you know, and the overall speed of it, trying to catch up with what they were doing made it difficult, I suppose.

What did the guitar mean to you?

I guess when I started playing the guitar it just became an extension of my mind, in a way, for me to really just describe how I was feeling without having to put it into words. I was always very introverted, and I still am as far as what’s bothering me, and I could put it into music.It just makes it a lot easier to say what I need to say without having to vocalize it as much. And now singing is a further extension of that.

You released an EP last year. Do you have some new music coming out this year?

Oh yes ma’am, we’re working on our record right now, our LP, to be released this summer. It’s going to be called Carolina Confessions and it’s going to be released on Fantasy Records as well and we’re hoping for a mid/late summer release of that.Half of it has been recorded in Memphis, Tennessee, and the other half is being recorded in Nashville, Tennessee. So we’re kind of taking it back home to our roots, to the south.

When you are songwriting, is there a method to your madness?

Well, you know, every now and then I’ll get a sudden jolt of inspiration and I’ll have to write it down just then, or things that stick with me throughout the day, and I often end up having a number of different ideas on a notepad or a journal somewhere.Then when I sit down and start putting all the ideas together and building upon all these little tidbits of song ideas I have on a voice recorder or in a notepad, I just build it from there. That’s kind of my method.

So when you go to the band, is the song pretty much done?

Yes and no. It depends on the style I am trying to go for. Oftentimes, I can’t really finish the writing process lyrically or musically without getting the full vibe of the band and its energy on the song. Certain songs for this record, I wrote most of it and then I’d take it to the group so they can put their spin on it.Then I’ll record it and be able to tweak it on my own later. Then there are other ones I can kind of finish and bring to them and they add their parts to it and there it is.

I understand this is going to be a pretty big year for you because you’ve got some big tours coming up. Can you tell us more about those?

Yes ma’am, I have the pleasure of going out and working with some really great musicians with As The Crow Flies. I’ll tour with them doing Black Crowes music with a friend of mine, Chris Robinson, which will be a great deal of fun. Following that we’ll be doing a tour of Europe and that will be our second time going overseas this year. Shortly after that, we’ll be going on the road with the Drive-By Truckers and Tedeschi Trucks Band. Those are just a lot of phenomenal people and phenomenal musicians so it will be a pleasure to share the road with them. Then the rest of the year I think we’ll have another European tour lined up and a full US tour promoting the new record once it’s released. I’m also really excited to have the second annual Marcus King Band Family Reunion in Black Mountain, North Carolina, in October. So it’s an exciting year and we’re really pumped to have the wheels rolling, as they say.

Derek Trucks played on the song “Self-Hatred,” from your last full-length. What made him the right guy to play on that particular song?

Well, Warren and I and everyone else had talked and said that we’d really love for Derek to play on a tune and he said, “If you find a song, then send it on over.” And he had one day off before they went to Australia that year and said, “If you’ve got anything, send it on over cause I got to fly out in the morning.” So we sent him that tune and he sent it back and it sounded just right, just what the tune needed. He’s just a hell of a nice guy and it’s a real pleasure to work with him, a real pleasure to have become friends with those guys.

And Susan Tedeschi is a wonderful guitar player as well

Oh absolutely. She is one of my favorite musicians all the way around. She’s well-rounded and they all are just really beautiful people.

They are kind of the leaders in the jamband blues genre. What do you think it takes to get to that level?

I think it’s just a lot of hard work and a lot of determination and a lot of not taking no for an answer; and tenacity and almost down-right stubbornness and hardheadedness, just going for it, you know, but in a tactful way, cause nobody likes you to be overbearing but you’ve really got to let your voice be heard. So it’s kind of a balancing act between that, making a lot of noise but making sure you’re saying something of substance with that.

Is that something you’ve always had?

That’s something I’ve always kind of had in my back pocket that I was blessed to have. Just from watching people like my grandfather, who played music for years, and was a very stern man and a cut right to the chase kind of guy. All the books I’ve read about my favorite musicians, like James Brown and Duane Allman, about the way they conducted themselves in a business way. Some of the things they did I wouldn’t recommend but the way they carried themselves with respecting themselves – if you don’t respect yourself nobody else will – and just putting everything you got into what you believe.

For you, what was your first big I can’t believe I’m here moment?

I guess the first time would be when I was at the Beacon Theatre and we were doing “Can’t You See,” which is a song that Toy Caldwell wrote. He’s from the Marshall Tucker Band and from a town right next to mine in South Carolina. Warren invited me to sing and play on that one. It was my first time at the Beacon and it was a big deal for me. I was such a big fan of that venue and playing a song written by Toy Caldwell from South Carolina put tears in my eyes, you know.

What’s the biggest impact that Warren Haynes has made on you?

It’s a profound impact that Warren’s made on us, just the way that he carries himself. I think he’s one of the most put together and honorable and down-to-earth, well-rounded people that we’ve had the pleasure of working with and knowing as a friend. We call him Uncle Warren cause he feels like family, especially since he’s from the same kind of Appalachia background that we both have.

What are some of the ways you want to see your band evolve even more?

We’d like to see the day when we’re not traveling by van. It makes the long drives a little bit easier when you’re NOT in a van (laughs). We’d like to see the tunes progress into songs, see the music evolve further and further. That’s our goal, just for it to grow.

Marcus King & Billy Strings to Join Forces for 'King & Strings' Set at Rooster Walk


via Live For Live Music

Marcus King and Billy Strings, two of the country’s hottest guitar players, will join forces this May for a first-time-ever collaboration at the Rooster Walk Music & Arts Festival in Martinsville, Va.

King, a southern rock/blues star, will sit in for the full show with progressive bluegrass ace Billy Strings and his band on a midnight-2 am “Kings & Strings” set at Rooster Walk 10. The pairing of two guitar-shredding icons, each age 25 or younger, is sure to be a showcase of frenetic fretboard work, improvised from start to finish.

In addition, legendary drummer Jeff Sipe (Aquarium Rescue Unit) will sit in during the latter portion of the set to give a little extra backbone to the big finish.

“I’ve never met Marcus, but I really love him, and I love his band, and I love what they’re doing,” said Billy Strings, a 25-year-old Michigan native. “It’s just awesome. I’ve seen that guy come up so quick, you know what I mean? That band, they’ve been out there touring relentlessly and just killing it at every show. And I think that’s incredible.“

King, a Greenville, S.C., native, has already sat in with a veritable “who’s who” of the world’s most famous rock, blues and jam bands, ranging from Gov’t Mule and Umphrey’s McGee to Widespread Panic. But other than a two-song appearance with Greensky Bluegrass at last year’s Rooster Walk, the 21-year-old hasn’t shared the stage with many bluegrass artists.

Even so, he has a long-standing love for the genre. “All the older relatives in my family were more bluegrass players, and I played a lot of gospel with them at my great grandfather’s house. I’ve always had a really deep respect for bluegrass players. I just think it’s an incredible art form, and I’m happy to be part of this set,” said King. “I think it’s gonna be a hoot, man. If I can be frank, I think it’s a great idea, and we’re gonna have a lot of fun with it.”

Though both artists intentionally plan to keep things loose and unscripted, they agree that a melding of the bluegrass and blues worlds will be an exciting way to fill two hours of music.

The impetus of the idea came from last year’s Rooster Walk, when guitarist Eric Krasno was the only member of his band who made it to the festival due to severe storms that cancelled flights across the country. In a pinch, Billy Strings and his band backed up Krasno on stage. The resulting set, though completely off the cuff and unrehearsed, was one of the most talked about from the entire weekend at Pop’s Farm.

“Kras, his band couldn’t make it last year because of the weather. So I heard about the set and I think that’s kind of the idea of this one, is just letting it be more spontaneous. And I’m sure (Billy and I) will have a couple phone calls to iron out some of the details, because we may want to go into it with some preconceived ideas,” explained King. “But other than that, just kind of leaving it up to everybody on stage as to how it turns out. And you know when you’ve got folks like Jeff Sipe on stage, you’re gonna have some spontaneous moments.”

Coincidentally, Strings has recently been seen playing electric guitar on-stage during a Greensky Bluegrass sit-in. This special King & Strings pairing creates the possibility of a 2-hour set that starts in the bluegrass/acoustic realm and explores its way toward a plugged-in, Sipe-backed finish that’s completely different and unique.

“We’re not gonna make a big plan,” said Strings. “Like, it’s not gonna be some epic set. Well, it might be. It probably will be, actually, but it will be fun and just kind of improv’d.”

King agreed.

“Hell yeah. I’m into it. Like I said, I just think it’s going to be a really good time,” he said. “I’m really jazzed up about it. I’m gonna practice up on my flat-picking!”

Rooster Walk 10 will take place May 24-27, 2018 at Pop’s Farm in Martinsville, Va. Headlining bands include The Wood Brothers, JJ Grey & Mofro and Robert Randolph and the Family Band. The festival’s full band lineup will be announced Thursday. To buy tickets or learn more information, visit the festival website.

Marcus King Band Plays Smoking Set in Support of Umphrey’s McGee at The Anthem

Screen Shot 2018-02-21 at 11.55.00 AM.png

via DC Music Review

Guitar phenom and South Carolinian Marcus King brought his band to DC on Thursday, February 15, in support of Umphrey's McGee. The Markus King Band (MKB) is a 6-piece unit that blends a multitude of genres including blues, R&B, soul, jazz and rock music.

The band opened with the rocking 'Good Man' to warm up the large crowd at The Anthem. Next came the bluesy 'Keep Your Side Door Open,' highlighting King's raspy vocals and guitar prowess, closing with a dynamic solo on his cherry-red Gibson ES-355. 'Fraudulent Waffle,' off the band's 2015 release, Soul Insight, came next. The original jazz number displayed the bands cohesiveness and included a fantastic solo by Justin Johnson on trumpet. King took the lead next, wowing the crowd with some dazzling guitar work before returning to the song's main riff. Marcus White, playing in the stead of DeShawn Alexander (keys), then took a turn on keys to close out the song.

MKB then dropped into the soulful vibe of 'Rita Is Gone,' off the band's 2016 self-titled release. The band was hitting their groove which led the way for Ephraim Owens (trumpet) of Tedeschi Trucks Band to join the fun for the next song, 'Plant Your Corn Early.' The combo of Dean Mitchell (saxophone) and Johnson (trumpet) led from the start, before trade solos with Owens to the delight of the crowd. Jack Ryan (drums) had the spotlight next, with a ripping solo reminiscent of the late, great John Bonham. 

The band had one song left, closing with the blues-rocker, 'Virginia.' One could note hints of Warren Haynes, who guests on the studio cut found on The Markus King Band. King led the band with a heavy riff that set the tone throughout. The crowed buzzed as the charismatic guitarist got in the zone with an extended yet tasteful solo marked by some serious bends and some ear-pleasing vibrato. The crowd roared as the band concluded, and DC was left wanting more of Marcus and this impressive band. The Marcus King Band will be back in the area on July 11 at Wolftrap as a part of the Wheels of Soul tour with the Tedeschi Trucks Band and the Drive-By Truckers. 

DC Music Review had the pleasure of sitting down with Marcus King prior to his show at The Anthem and we are delighted to share the full interview on Will Urquhart's upcoming Scene-In-Review podcast. It was an honor to speak with King on topics including his musical influences, life on the road, and the time he sang 'Purple Rain' as a tribute to Prince.

Soul insight: A conversation with Marcus King


via Smoky Mountain News
By Garret K. Woodward, Photo: Sandlin Gaither

Watching and listening to The Marcus King Band onstage, your feet are stuck to the floor, your eyes entranced and fixated on the whirlwind jam conspiring before you. Razor-sharp guitar licks, thundering drum-n-bass hooks, twinkle-toed keyboards and a ferocious horn section — a seamless blend of as many musical genres as there are possibilities. 

And standing in the middle of this melodic storm is 21-year-old guitar prodigy Marcus King. The Greenville, South Carolina, native is no stranger to the musical traditions of Southern Appalachia and the Southeast. He cut his teeth playing any jam circle that would have him, many of which being in venues in Asheville and around Western North Carolina.

The band’s recent EP, “Due North,” bolts from the speakers like a bat out of hell, where the mind drifts and makes immediate comparisons to the likes of Chicago during the late Terry Kath years, one of the most underrated guitarists of the 20th century who fronted the group like an electric maestro gone mad.

Though only in the early stages of his promising, bountiful career, King can’t ever shake the feeling that his ever-evolving craft and creativity is in a race against time, where the lost-too-soon faces of Kath, Jimi Hendrix and Duane Allman appear — and reappear — like haunting visions, not only as guiding forces, but also as warning signs of what to do and not do when chasing your dreams.

Luckily, King is in good hands, as seen by his friendships, collaborations and ongoing mentorships with guitar icons Warren Haynes [Gov’t Mule/Allman Brothers] and Derek Trucks [Tedeschi Trucks Band/Allman Brothers], musicians who give flight to the hopes and aspirations of those who follow in their footsteps.

Smoky Mountain News: What were the hopes coming into the past year?

Marcus King: We did 150 dates [in 2017]. Our intention was just to be on the road as much as possible, and to see how far we could push each other, physically. See what happens at the end of it. If we hate each other, do we move forward? If we don’t, we’re good.

SMN: Where does that work ethic come from?

MK: A lot of my heroes, just looking at what they accomplished. Duane Allman, for the main example, he was 24 when he passed away. He built a legacy and I don’t think he was able to see the fruits of his labors. I use that as an example because, you know, we’re not promised tomorrow. I think it’s a touchy thing. I use it more so for motivation, and not getting down on myself. It’s good to be happy with your accomplishments, but not complacent, and feeling like you should be moving forward. We should always be evolving — as human beings, as musicians, and as a band. 

SMN: Is there ever a double-edged sword with that? 

MK: Oh, yeah. I get into my head a lot. I get really bad anxiety attacks, just overanalyze everything a good bit. And music is the only release of that, really. That’s the only opportunity I have to get it all off my chest. Onstage is when I’m most comfortable. Some things I can scream and sing that I can’t really convey [in person]. 

SMN: What have you learned from Warren [Haynes] and Derek [Trucks] that you’ve applied to your own career?

MK: Well, they’re always professional and they’re always kind. To anybody that wants to talk to them, they’re there to speak to them. And I always make it a point to go speak to the people that have allowed me to be where I am. Just staying humble and remembering your roots, it’s certainly something I’ve always found important. From my grandfather and my dad teaching it to me, and then seeing people like Derek and Warren — and Jimmy Herring [of Widespread Panic] — that really hold those values true. I love coming back home and just getting put right back in my place by all the musicians that used to let me come sit in when I was a kid. I go back and jam with them, they’re still my heroes and I’m still Marcus. And they don’t treat me any different — I love it. 

SMN: What are the hopes for this coming year?

MK: Trying to grow and to continue to push each other musically. And as human beings, trying to expand my mind spiritually. I’m trying to find other outlets to free my mind. This past year kind of showed me that I’m making my music into something that is a compulsive thing, [where] “I have to do it in order to have any kind of happiness” is not okay, because it takes away from the true reason I play music in the first place — to be happy. And I’m just trying to embrace the moment I’m in. 

Ask The Marcus King Band!

We're starting a new feature over here on the site where you can ask the band anything you'd like. Just fill out the form at the end of this page to ask your question(s)!

Avi M. Asks: Hey guys! I absolutely love the band and the music... you guys seriously groove and rock. Marcus, would you please be kind enough to enlighten me as to how you approach improvisation? Is there any particular scale or mode that you particularly rely upon?

Hey Avi! Depending on the tune I like to establish what all of the "rules" are for playing that mode, Dorian for example. I like to establish okay, here are the guide line, I try to dance around those lines and look at it more as a release of energy as oppose to a set of rules. Hope this helps! Take care -MK

Anthony M. Asks: Jack - fellow drummer here. Very impressed with your style and performance. For example, your drumming on Radio Soldier is no joke - nice work! Was just wondering where you studied drums, took lessons, self-taught, etc. Could listen to you guys all day - best band to come around in a long time. Looking forward to checking you out in NYC tonight.

I studied with Jeff Sipe for a short stint about two years ago. I'm a huge fan of Steve Gadd, Billy Cobham, Richie Hayward, Vinnie Colaiuta, Buddy Rich etc. and I love all things funky or jazzy. I was in my high school jazz band and had three teachers on and off from age 12 to 17. Mostly self taught otherwise. 


Tony R. Asks: Hey Marcus, Love the band and your albums. Hey, do you use strap locks, if so what type Dunlop, etc...?

Hey Tony! I do not use strap locks. I always use one Strap for a gig and I like to be able to get it off and on rather quickly, changing straps usually results in my hat getting knocked off haha. Thanks for listening -MK



Pete C. Asks: Hi Marcus-- Pete from Chicago here. You've had the chance to befriend and jam with many of your guitar playing heroes/influences, which must be very surreal sometimes. My question: If you could spend a day chilling and playing guitar with one guitarist that isn't living-- who would it be? 

PS- when can we expect the new record to come out? Can't wait!

Hey Pete! Duane Allman would be my answer ! Hoping for a late summer release ! 



Gus B. Asks: What's up Marcus? Hope everyone's doing well in the band. I'm looking forward to catching y'all in ATL. I've been trying to practice as much guitar as I can and trying to branch out to other types of musicians like Scofield, McLaughlin, Sonny Rollins and others to help work on finding my own tone. I was wondering what was the most effective thing for you on trying to find your own voice on the guitar and what some good practicing techniques would be.

Hey Gus! I found it helpful to seek knowledge from anything. Mostly vocalists like Janis Joplin, Otis Redding & James Brown. I spent time trying to emulate the vocal runs they were doing by applying them to guitar. Making your guitar an extension of your voice. I find it important to be so familiar with the neck that you can. So you can express yourself through that as well as through your voice. 



Colby M. Asks: What’s goin on MKB! I am a huge fan of y’all’s music and try to see y’all every chance i get . I love the vibe your music puts out and the style in which y’all play it, keep it up! My question is, I recently saw y’all perform at the Georgia theater in Athens And after the show I asked one of the rogue as to hand me one of your picks and I noticed it was a Dunlop jazz III pick and I was curious if you always use those picks or if you only use them for certain songs? Also wanted to know where you got your influences from for your style and technique used in your guitar playing and solos? Thanks brother

Hey Colby! Thanks for reaching out. I've been using Jazz III picks for a while. They work best for me. Jimmy herring, Derek trucks, Warren haynes, John McLaughlin.. to name a few! 



Casey D Asks: Hey Marcus! Big, big fan of yours and the band. I have been listening to the Due North EP nonstop lately but I’m having trouble playing along with Slip Back. I know I’m close on the chords but something doesn’t quite match. I’m hoping you could shed some light on it for me!

Hey Casey! MK here. Thanks so much for digging on the EP! That tune is basically

Verse: G7, B-7, C7.. Dsus (cmajor with  D on the base) 

Bridge (during SAX solo) G7, F-7, E dominant, A7 (Cmaj with D in the base)



James M. Asks: What's up with your red shoes? You wear them all the time tell us about them.

Hey man. I like my shoes to match my guitar. That's pretty much it haha.



Peter M. Asks: Great to see you coming up to Canada in September. How do you find the audience in Canada compared to the States? I understand Japan was awesome for the band - what makes a great crowd? Looking forward to seeing you in Toronto.

We love Canada crowds. We find in the states sometimes people are a little closed off to The vibe we're trying to offer. Canadian crowds reciprocate a lot louder! 



Josh V. Asks: Virginia has that straightforward guitar driven groove. (or "the bounce" as I like to call it) Are you using the super reverb on the album? Correct me if I'm wrong, but it sounds like Warren is using a late 60's plexi? Tonally he sounds damn near identical to Mr. Reverend Willie G. Keep on keepin on

Josh! Hey man, MK Here. Thanks for digging on the record. Warren was playing through a late 60s plexi . Good ear my friend. And I was using a Super reverb with a Marshall and a mid 60s  Supro all in stereo



Glen S. Asks: You are stranded forever on a deserted island with only 3 albums. Which ones?

Mahavishnu orchestra: birds of fire

King Crimson: in the court of the crimson king

BB King: live at the regal



Andrew K. Asks: Hi, just wondering if anyone in the band has started a little collection of anything while doing so much traveling around. Kind of a random question, but just wanted to know.

Haha well. Dean and I have been collecting Hotel Room keys and show laminates. Jack and Stephen collect VHS tapes



Tyler C. Asks:  Hey guys, I'm a huge fan of your music, and lately of Thespian Espionage in particular. I've been trying to learn it on guitar, but I'm having a hard time picking up the chord progression by ear, especially the jam in the middle. Would you be able share those chords? I'd really appreciate it. Either way, can't wait for you guys to come around to CT again!

Hey Tyler. The improvisational section is a pattern of chords based around the key of C minor

C-7 (8 bars)
F-7. Eflat maj 7 , F-7,  Aflat maj. 7
C-7 (4 bars)
F-7, G-7, A flat maj. 7, G-7 (Repeat 2x)



Keith T Asks: Hi Marcus, I'm a 65 year young fan. Love your music and the styles you deliver. Started playing guitar at an older age. Played in a local blues band in NJ for a few years recently. I am hooked on your song Rita is Gone, specifically the versions you jam on . Not sure what you can or would share, but it would be great if you could provide the chords. I think it's in some sort of Dm mode but your changes have a unique sound so a mix of what sounds like some diminished or Maj7's in there, but I may be way off. Would appreciate what you can share. It would be great in a jam with some other musicians I am trying to get together. Would also be willing to purchase in copyrighted sheet music if necessary.
Thanks and all my best for your success.

Hey Keith! Really happy to hear you dig the tune. 

Verse: Dminor, C7, Bflat Major 7

Chorus: G minor7, C7, Fminor7, B flat major 7
G-7, A-7, B flat major 7, C7 (A flat 13, G7)



Isy H. Asks: Just wanted to ask where (and if) can I buy a guitar strap like the one Marcus is using (with the big ring)?

I had that particular strap made when I was 11 years old. I have tried to contact the leathersmith responsible since then but haven't heard anything back. I do know it was called leathersmith by Liz in Easley SC. Moody Leather makes all of my other straps. 



Benny B. Asks: What do you set the knobs on your TS9 ? I have the same amp you use My TS9 is a keeley mod plus . Would there be any difference?

Hey benny! Depending on the size of the venue I adjust the gain. Usually. The amp is cranked to 10 tube screamer gain is at noon. Volume is at 7 o'clock . 



Patricia R. Asks: That hat is your trademark! Did you buy that or did someone pick that out for you! Not everyone can pull that look off but you do and very well! Love the feathers trailing in back!

Hey Patricia ! I got my hat at high mountain outfitters in Denver CO



Gustavo R. Asks: Hello, Marcus, how are you? Would you like to know what your favorite Ibanez TS9 configuration is and whether your wah pedal is Standard (GCB-95) or Classic (GCB-95F)? Thank you!

Gustavo, hey brother! Using a standard TS9 and Standard Cry baby wah



Mike M. Asks: Your FREDDIE KING" ripen it up clone action...was that on purpose??? KILLER cant wait to see you again/will bring 1000 of my closest friends!!!

Hey Mike! It was greeting meeting you both! We always love covering Freddie King Tunes, We try to go with whatever vibe is in the room and Freddies spirit happened to be in the air that night! Looking forward to the next one. Talk soon - MK



Richard A. Asks: HI Jack, fellow drummer down here in Texas. I play a similar setup to yours, but couldn't find any details online. Im curious what your primary kit is, what heads you use and what cymbals. Rock on.

Hey rich! 
Are you referring to what I play live? Or what you heard on the album? 

I've been touring with my Noble & Cooley CD maple kit since august of 2016. It's a 5 piece kit. 
Bass drum: 24x14
Rack tom: 13x9
Floor toms: 16x14 18x16
Snare: 7x14 Solid shell maple has been my main girl. 
I also have a 6ply walnut 6.5x14 and a solid shell beech wood 7x14. All noble  & Cooley. 
I use Evans coated G1 heads on the snare and toms (no moon gels or any muffling) 
I usually just use an emad for the bass drum.  

Cymbals all zildjan: hi hat 14" kerope (heavy on top) 
19" kerope (hi hat side)
22" k custom medium ride
20" k custom hybrid ride (tilted to the right of the main ride, used as more of a crash) 

If you saw any of the old videos where I'm playing a blue sparkle kit, those are my slingerlands. Late 70's pretty much exact same set up as my noble & cooleys (only difference is the first floor tom is 16x16). 

I hope that answered you're questions, ask away if you want to know more. 
Thanks for reaching out! 



James F. Asks: Marcus - I LOVE your tone. What model and year is your SG and what P90s are you using? Thank you. See you in NYC!

Hey James! My SG is an early 70s model with mini humbuckers, I use a tubescreamer TS9 and a 65 Fender super reverb amp with a cry baby wah! We'll see you in NYC brother.. Cheers-MK



Ask A Question in the Form Below!

Name *

New Spring/Summer Tour Dates

We've got a handful of new shows for ya, and we're pretty stoked. We'll be doing a couple of Spring runs - including a stop at the Saenger Theatre in New Orleans with Gov't Mule - before heading back across the pond for our Summer Europe Tour. There's a lot going on, so let us break it down for you.

Pre-Sale/On Sale Wednesday, February 7
May 19 at Tradition Brewing in Newport News, VA | PreSale
May 20 at Mike Dianna's Grill Room in Corolla, NC | PreSale
May 31 at Kulturkeller Kreuz in Fulda, DE | Tickets
June 1 at Blues Garage in Isernhagen, DE | Tickets
June 4 at Posten in Odense, DK | Tickets
June 6 at Cafe De Zwerver in Leffinge, BE | Tickets
June 7 at Spirit of 66 in Verviers, BE | Tickets
June 8 at TivoliVredenburg in Utrecht, NL | Tickets

Pre-Sale/On Sale Friday, February 9
May 4 at The Saenger Theatre in New Orleans, LA | Tickets*
May 23 at C2G Music Hall in Fort Wayne, IN | PreSale
May 24 at Kalamazoo State Theatre in Kalamazoo, MI | PreSale
*with Gov't Mule