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Marcus King Band

Origin: Greenville, South Carolina

Link: Twitter

Genres: American Blues, Southern Rock

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The Marcus King Band  is led by singer, songwriter, and guitarist Marcus King.  A Blue Ridge Mountain boy, King was born and raised in Greenville, South Carolina.  A fourth generation musician he traces his lineage back to his fiddle playing great grandfather, while his grandfather was a fiddler and guitarist.  His dad is singer/guitarist Marvin King who fronts his own band Marvin King and Blue Revival.

Marcus King has been writing songs, performing on stage for half his lifetime and fronting his own groups for nearly a decade.  Since he was a teenager the now 22 year old has been  trading licks with famous fans and mentors Warren Haynes and Derek Trucks whenever their paths have crossed.  Haynes was so blown away by the then-19-year-old’s artistic precocity that he signed King to his Evil Teen label, released the band’s debut album, Soul Insight, in 2015 and produced the band’s self-titled follow-up a year later.

The band’s third full-length album, Carolina Confessions was released in October 2018.  Carolina Confessions is confirmation of a preternaturally mature artist coming into his own; it’s a sprawling, scintillating work that affirms King as one of today’s most engaging, singular songwriters.  He may be young, but King’s eloquent songs, expressive guitar playing, and ecstatically soulful singing mark this gifted, thoughtful young prodigy as a force to be reckoned with.

The album’s cover image—a photograph of a ramshackle confessional, with its screen door swung open, sitting surreal amid the kudzu—is suffused with Southern Gothic mystery, straddling redemption and damnation.  It’s a striking visual metaphor for the spiritual struggle so vividly portrayed in the songs of Carolina Confessions.  “My mother was Catholic, and my grandmother on my mother’s side was Catholic,” says King.  “I wasn’t raised Catholic, but the idea of confessing your sins was always really powerful to me.”

Carolina Confessions finds King and his five band mates—drummer Jack Ryan, bass player Stephen Campbell, trumpeter/trombonist Justin Johnson, sax player Dean Mitchell and keyboard player DeShawn “D-Vibes” Alexander—taking a major leap as an expansive and dexterous musical unit.  King penned all the material himself, except the swaggering “How Long,” which he co-wrote with the Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach and veteran song-smith Pat McLaughlin.  “Every tune on this record is based around a central theme, which is that none of us are blameless at the end of a relationship,” says King.

Marcus King Band Discography

Soul Insight (2014)

The Marcus King Band (2016)

Carolina Confessions (2018)

Sacramento’s K-ZAP 93.3 FM plays the Marcus King Band.  All part of 50 years of Rock, Blues and More, 24-7 on our station’s stream at K-ZAP.ORG/LISTEN/