Marcus King Channels Stevie Ray At The Amsterdam


Growing up, I inherited my musical taste from my dad’s vinyl collection.  I was infatuated with looking through his prized collection and one of the first I remember listening to obsessively was Eric Clapton’s Slowhand.  His masterful guitar-playing pulled me in, as I was just starting to play myself.  This also led me to the likes of Stevie Ray Vaughan, who played his guitar like he sang… with absolute soul and love for the blues.  These two legends set the bar too high for me, and I’ve since been looking for their successor.  Until now. 

I first became aware of Marcus King from a video of him playing at Norman’s Rare Guitars, a famous guitar shop in California.  If you’d like to see that video you can go HERE.  Originating from Greenville, South Carolina, it could be said that Marcus King grew up in an environment condusive to creating a legend.  As a fourth-generation musician, he developed his skills alongside his father, Marvin King, who toured with his own band, Marvin King and Blue Revival.  It’s clear in his playing and singing that Marcus, who is only 22-years old, is an old-soul who loves his craft.

The band’s latest stop at Amsterdam Bar and Hall is part of a tour to promote their new album, Carolina Confessions, which comes out October 5th and can be preordered HERE.  They recently debuted on CONAN, and will soon continue their tour in Europe.

Opening for Marcus was Bishop Gunn from Natchez, Mississippi.  With music blending Rock and Roll, Blues and Soul, the reaction from the crowd was priceless.  One of the favorites of the night was the band’s song, “Shine”, which blends country guitar licks with the soulful and emotional lyrical-writing of the Blues.  After their set, those around me were absolutely stunned and flocked to the merch-table to grab their Bishop Gunn gear.  The band was also extraordinarily personable and came out to drink beers with fans after their set.

Kings’ set included songs such as, “What’s Right”, “Here I’m Headed” and “Ain’t Nothing Wrong with That”.  A man of few words, Marcus connects with the crowd through his guitar.  The few times he spoke, King didn’t use the time to promote himself or go off on tangents, he simply said, “Let’s have a good night St. Paul!”, demonstrating his pure love for music and sharing it with fans.  The Amsterdam Bar and Hall was the perfect setting for Marcus’ first performance in the Twin Cities.  It provided the right amount of intimacy between the band and the fans, who were a mix between millennials and baby-boomers, which is always great to see.

Simply put, Marcus King is someone you’ll definitely want to watch out for.  The kid’s going places.