Published on February 2nd, 2022

The Marcus King Band

If you were going to study whether nature or nurture makes a musician, Southern rocker Marcus King might be the specimen to dissect. The 25-year-old singer, guitarist and songwriter is a fourth generation musician. His great-grandfather and grandfather played fiddle. His father toured nationally beginning in the 1970’s leading the Marvin King and The Blues Revival Band. But Marcus, with and without his Marcus King Band might have already outdone them all in terms of popularity.

King grew up playing guitar in South Carolina. He obsessively studied old-timers such as BB King, the Allman Brothers Band and Merle Haggard. He was enough of a guitar prodigy that at the age of eight his father was already bringing him up on stage to jam with him, and had him strum the guitar on one of dad’s records at the age of eleven. He went on to study jazz theory and jazz performance. In 2013, at the ripe age of 17, he started the Marcus King Band — an amazingly soulful union of rock, roots, r&b and blues from one so young.

Marcus King

One of his musical heroes, Allmans regular and Gov’t Mule frontman Warren Haynes, quickly signed King to his label, Evil Teen, where all three Marcus King Band albums hit the top ten on the blues charts. Other prominent elders were also impressed. Chris Stapleton name-checked him as a great young guitarist. Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys produced his solo debut, “El Dorado.”

King told NPR in 2020 that music has played a pivotal role in his life: “When my father would be at work, I was just at my grandparents’ house, and I’d just be in a room for hours playing guitar. And later it would become my therapist, and it still is. It’s just the only thing that truly listens without ever saying a negative word back.”

King also said he wants his music, on record or live, to offer “a sense of hope” and “a sense of relief.”

The Marcus King Band plays for all ages 7pm Sunday, February 20 at Revolution Live in Fort Lauderdale, $24.50. ~ David Rolland