Live Music Review: The Marcus King Band July 24, 2015 @ Asheville Music Hall, Asheville, NC
Written by DeepJams on July 29, 2015
Live Music Review: The Marcus King Band July 24, 2015 @ Asheville Music Hall in Asheville, NC
Marcus King is probably a name you’ve been hearing a lot in music circles lately. He has been earning a reputation as an extraordinary musician and is currently touring the southeastern United States with his band: The Marcus King Band. We’ve been airing Marcus’s new album “Soul Insight” in our standard rotation here at DeepJams.net Radio and were pleased to have an opportunity to catch him live here in Asheville.
We got word that the band had vehicle problems in-route the day of the show. Sure enough as we walked down a side street to the Music Hall we were greeted by the sight of Marcus leaning into the trailer unloading equipment alongside his band mates: drummer Jack Ryan, bassist Stephen Campbell, keyboardist Matt Jennings, and percussionist Jason Phillips (the evening’s lineup also included Justin Johnson performing on trumpet, trombone and vocals).
We stopped for a moment to say hi and he greeted us with a warm smile, firm handshake, and a soft voice marked by a southern lilt. We watched as they all worked at unloading and setting up the equipment. Then with barely a moment to catch their breath the band took the stage to warm up. Marcus took charge, getting the sound to his liking. Gone was the quiet young man and in his place we saw a confidant seasoned musician. From the moment he picked up his well-worn red Gibson he took on a poise that belies his young age of just 19. There is strength about his playing style that most artists acquire only after decades of experience.
Marcus’ cousin, Renee Dill Parker, told me more about the guitar he was playing – “Friday night he played “big red” that’s my Uncle Bill/ Marcus’s grandfather’s guitar. Uncle Bill opened for a lot of famous people playing “big red”- from Johnny Cash to Barbara Mandrel to Charlie Pride to name a few. I normally find tears rolling when he plays big red!!!”
The venue was packed with enthusiastic people on their feet, standing room only. We found a spot next to an A/C vent offering some relief from the heat and settled in to listen…and that’s where the band really shined. The music is a fusion of Southern Rock, Blues and Jazz all delivered with precision and passion. Marcus’ vocals periodically joined by Justin Johnson are a treat to the ears. As the crowd thinned late in the evening we were able to make our way to get a closer look. The chemistry in the band is as easy to see as it is in the hearing. I can only say that if you have an opportunity to see the band perform you should. This is great live music performed by a fine group of musicians. I look forward to seeing where the future leads The Marcus King Band artistically for many years to come.
The Marcus King Band will be returning to Asheville Sept 26 for the Asheville Fall Charity Jam at New Mountain Avl. You can learn more about this event @ http://www.ashevillefallcharityjam.com/
Check out Marcus’s Bio, Tour dates and more at www.MarcusKingBand.com
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Review by Shawn Chisholm
Photos: Renee Dill Parker & Rich Granaas