The Marcus King Band
About The Marcus King Band
A young guitarist who plays and sings with an impressive degree of seasoned maturity and passion, Marcus King delivers a hearty mixture of soul, blues, rock, and jazz that has made him a rising star on the blues and jam band circuits. On his debut album, 2015's Soul Insight, King and his band generated a powerful, guitar-based attack rooted in high-impact blues and southern soul, while 2016's The Marcus King Band took a more eclectic approach, with the more dynamic numbers revealing a gentler aspect, showing the influence of gospel and folk. 2020's El Dorado was King's first album as a solo act, and put a greater emphasis on his strengths as a vocalist.
Marcus King was born in Greenville, South Carolina on March 11, 1996. His father, Marvin King, was a well-known blues guitarist in South Carolina who also played with gospel acts, and his grandfather was also a regionally popular musician. Marcus was barely out of diapers when he first picked up a guitar, and at age eight, he started playing shows with his father. In his teens, he began playing out with his own band, juggling club gigs at night and school in the morning as he and his bandmates barnstormed with what they called "soul-influenced psychedelic Southern rock." In 2015, the Marcus King Band -- King on guitar and lead vocals, Alex Abercrombie on keyboards and backing vocals, Anthony House on bass, and Jack Ryan on drums -- released their debut album, Soul Insight. Warren Haynes of Gov't Mule checked the band out and liked what he heard; he tapped the Marcus King Band to open shows for Gov't Mule and reissued Soul Insight on his Evil Teen Records label.
Haynes' championing of the group helped spread the news about King's music, and he soon landed a record deal with the venerable independent label Fantasy Records. Personnel shakeups led to a new lineup of the Marcus King Band, with Abercrombie and House leaving the group, while King and Ryan were joined by Stephen Campbell on bass, Matt Jennings on keyboards, Dean Mitchell on sax, and Justin Johnson on trumpet and trombone. The new edition of the Marcus King Band went into Carriage House Studios in Stamford, Connecticut with Haynes serving as producer, and cut their second album mostly live in the studio. The Marcus King Band was released by Fantasy in October 2016, with the group touring extensively in support. A third full-length, Carolina Confessions, arrived in 2018, landing at number two on the blues albums chart. King became friends with fellow guitarist Dan Auerbach, co-founder of the Black Keys, and they teamed up to make King's first solo album. Auerbach produced 2020's El Dorado, recorded in Nashville with a band comprised of veteran Music City session players, while King put a greater emphasis on his impassioned vocal stylings along with his agile guitar work. ~ Mark Deming