East of 8th SXSW Spotlight: The Marcus King Band

Marcus King comes by his immense talent honestly— “My whole family played music—my dad, grandfather, and uncles. It’s always been a family affair.  My dad listened to the blues, but he also listened to Hendrix, The Beatles, The Allman Brothers, and Skynyrd,” he says.  “On the other end of the spectrum, I was listening to George Jones, Chet Atkins, and Merle Haggard with my granddad.  Later on, I was heavily influenced by jazz cats like Coltrane, Miles Davis, and Jimmy Smith.”  When he wasn’t indulging in the music of his elders, King was exploring every other kind of music he could plug into his ears.  “I was like a musical melting pot,” he laughs.

The South Carolina native calls his style psychedelic Southern rock, putting a slightly different spin on the roots blues his family played. "In the 60s, there were a bunch of bands coming from the South that were speaking about injustice, with a raw, unconcentrated sound, with a revolutionary spirit agains the powers that be.  We love where we’re from, we’re Southern boys,” King declares.  “The idea of letting go and being able to speak your mind through an instrument, and viewing your voice as an instrument, I just want to let go and be free, not bogged down by the weight of society.  it’s about being able to represent yourself in a positive manner.  Psychedelia embodies that movement.”

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