The Marcus King Band
December 29, 2019
Review by Joseph Hett
The Marcus King Band Is Phenomenal In Augusta
The Marcus King Band stopped in Augusta, Georgia at the Miller Theater on Sunday night during their run of shows in Georgia dubbed “Georgia On MKB’s Mind.” This was also a part of their massive “El Dorado” Tour that would end with a New Years Eve show in Athens to close out the year. Just a week ago, they sold out the historic Beacon Theatre in New York City. In 2020, they have tour dates all around the world – not too bad for a band from Greenville, South Carolina.
The term “prodigy” has been thrown around to describe Marcus King, but he is now a full blown song writing and guitar god. King has a silky smooth soulful voice and extraordinary guitar playing abilities. Equipped with a precision band, he has all of the elements for success. Plus it helps to have such a diverse sound that incorporates blues, rock, soul, country and jam.
The six-piece Marcus King Band came out with “What’s Right” and “Ain’t Nothing Wrong With That.” They were a well-oiled machine and kept the foot stomping rhythm going.
During a cover of “Ohio” (CSNY), King and keyboardist Dane Farnsworth battled each other with licks on their respective instruments. Bassist Stephen Campbell kept a funky bass groove all night long.
King, dressed in all black with his signature wide-brimmed hat, put the pedal to the floor and never looked back. They had the perfect formula of starting a song off, and then King would just play the hell out of an extended solo to close it out. Why mess with perfection?
King showcased his vocal chops with the a capella “Grinnin’ In Your Face.”
An acoustic guitar was brought out to King for what he noted was a change of pace. He also mentioned that “Sweet Mariona” was a new song off of his upcoming album, “El Dorado”. They transitioned into Waylon Jennings’ “Good Hearted Woman.” Sax player Dean Mitchell played pedal steel guitar on these tunes with a country twang.
They continued with set staples “Wildflowers And Wine” and “Radio Soldier.”
King gave a shout out to Augusta’s own James Brown before starting Brown’s “Prisoner Of Love.”
Jack Ryan provided an amazing extended drum solo to give the rest of the band a well-deserved break. They went into band intros once they came back out.
They closed the set out with “Goodbye Carolina” from 2018’s well-received album with the same name.
For the encore, everyone came back out for an epic performance of Neil Young’s “Down By The River.” The Marcus King Band was joined by King’s father, Marvin King, and Gabriel Kelley, opening act for the evening.
The two hour set came to a close as The Marcus King Band received a standing ovation for their sensational performance.
King’s debut solo album, “El Dorado”, is coming out on January 17. It was produced by Dan Auerbach (Black Keys). Just based off of the new tracks featured tonight, you already know the album is going to be good.
The sky really is the limit for Marcus King and the Marcus King Band. Just a few years ago, they were playing bars. Last year they were opening. Fast forward to now, and they are headlining large venues. The Marcus King Band and their unique brand of music are on the right path.