Marcus King is somewhat of a blues-and-roots prodigy. At only 22 years old, the singer-songwriter has established himself as a seminal force in a music scene that’s majorly dominated by veterans.
It’s to be expected; the fourth-generation musician has been playing music and performing onstage for half of his life. Born and raised in the American South, King is perpetuating the legacy of true American rock-and-roll. With band in tow, Marcus King is heading Down Under for the first time in his career for the annual Byron Bay Bluesfest, plus sideshows, in April.
The Marcus King Band are bringing their quintessential Southern-fried sound Down Under for the first time this April. Do your homework with these five essential tracks.
Rita Is Gone
Rita Is Gone is almost tongue-in-cheek. The song pays homage to the character of the same name of the TV show Dexter who meets a gruesome end. It is perhaps too pleasant for its subject matter, but the slower tempo does give the track a bit of a sombre feel.
Rita Is Gone is carried by King’s soulful voice, and was released as part of The Marcus King Band’s self-titled album in 2016.
A six-minute saga that grapples with the loss of a close friend, Goodbye Carolina is full of raw emotion and vulnerability, harbouring more of a country feel than The Marcus King Band’s other songs.
King deals with guilt, grief and remorse throughout the track but finds solace in the process. This song was released as part of The Marcus King Band’s 2018 sophomore album Carolina Confessions.
Homesick is a bittersweet love song. Delving into feelings of heartbreak, loneliness and vulnerability, the track details the feeling of being at home within a person, not a place.
The track finds its roots within RnB as opposed to rock and roll. Homesick also came out of the band’s sophomore album Carolina Confessions, released in 2018.
I Won’t Be Here
I Won’t Be Here is one of The Marcus King Band’s first releases. Stripped back and raw with no rhythm or beats section, the song grapples with heartbreak. It is insightful, vulnerable and emotional, and almost channels the candid sounds of Bruce Springsteen’s Nebraska.
I Won’t Be Here was released back in 2015, when King was just 18 years old.
This Ol’ Cowboy
This Ol’ Cowboy is The Marcus King Band’s take on The Marshall Tucker Band’s original song. The song was released in 2017 as part of the band’s Due North EP. While the song isn’t an original, The Marcus King Band have given the track their own flavour.
15 April 2019
Oxford Art Factory, Sydney
Tickets available here
17 April 2019
Northcote Social Club, Melbourne