QUICK HITS: Marcus King talks influences, dream collaborations & success

by Chris Snyder

Photo by Mark Raker Photography

In a very short amount of time you guys came out with two critically acclaimed albums, Soul Insight and The Marcus King Band. The self titled album was produced by Warren Haynes. How did you guys meet with Mr. Haynes?

Warren and I have a great deal of mutual friends in the Asheville, NC area. I grew up an hour or so south in Greenville, SC. Folks I was working with, writing with and playing shows with all wanted to introduce Warren to our first record before we initially released it. In August of 2014 Jack Ryan and myself went to see the Gov’t Mule in Athens, GA with our good friend Rocky Lindsley. That was my first time jamming with Warren. We played “Jesus Just Left Chicago.”

The band mixes in soul/R&B/funk and many other genres into their studio as well as your live performances. How would you describe your music?

We’ve always had a difficult time defining our music by any particular genre. We all have a lot of similar musical upbringing as well as influences that are unique to each of us individually. I guess you could say we’re a rock band with horns that play soul music and digs on Bebop.

Who are some musicians that you would like to share the stage with in the future?

Sitting in with WSP was a “pinch myself moment” because Jimmy Herring has always been a hero of mine. I had the same feeling playing with Soulive, Scofield, Gov’t Mule, Jeff Sipe and Jack Person. I’ve been blessed enough to share a stage with my heroes. As far as artists I would love to work with; Cory Henry, Thundercat, Kamasi Washington, PJ Morton, Margeret Glaspy and Lake Street Dive come to mind.

Are there any rituals that you perform before taking the stage?

We all listen to Wu Tang Clan or Cypress Hill and hype each other up.  I usually warm up my voice with a blue halls cough drop, hot tea/ honey & bullet rye whiskey.

In the Fall you have some international dates slated. Are there any sights in any of the cities that you would like to see on your days off?

I have a lot of family in Munich, Germany. I’ll be bringing my Grandmother back home after 20 years as well as my sister and father. It’ll be nice to enjoy some pints with family!

How would you define success in your eyes?

I view success just as I view beauty, it’s in the eye of the beholder. It’s to be surrounded by people you love that push you to be greater than you were the day before. It’s doing what you love in front of folks that reciprocate the energy you give to them.


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