via Washington Post
Marcus King is a 20-year-old guitar whiz with chops well beyond his years. Raised in South Carolina, the son of a bluesman, King has been playing onstage since he was a preteen, and he continues to be mentored by some of the best in the business. The fall-released, self-titled album from his brass-powered soul-rock sextet was produced by Gov’t Mule’s Warren Haynes, and during the frenetic swamp-jazz peak of “Self-Hatred,” one of the album’s highlights, King trades fierce licks with slide master Derek Trucks.
In addition to guitar fireworks, King’s record displays his prowess as a versatile songwriter able to craft tunes across the roots music spectrum. He has a powerful, raspy voice that soars when necessary but also often stays grounded with the freshness of youth. King uses it to revive vintage lovesick R&B in “Rita Is Gone”; howl through gritty, horn-fueled funk in “Plant Your Corn Early”; and deliver an earnest Southern rock meditation in “The Man You Didn’t Know.”
Another album standout, the experimental blues odyssey “Thespian Espionage,” comes straight from the early Allman Brothers Band playbook. With songs built for improvised expansion, it makes sense that King and his band have gained a reputation for playing extended, energetic live shows and found favor with jam band fans.