The Marcus King Band
Whatever is giving Marcus King the blues it at least has the common decency to animate his creative endeavours, and with a tangible authenticity here that’s writ large in the violence with which he executes a string bend. It’s also writ large in a searing white-heat lead tone that suggests that, somewhere in the backline, there’s a Class A combo being driven so hard you could grill steak on the tubes. King’s solo on Homesick should be preserved in the Smithsonian for its tone alone. And the phrasing? Unimpeachable. For all its pointed catharsis, Carolina Confessions has a celebratory feel to tracks such as How Long and the psychedelic swamp-funk stomp of Welcome ’Round Here. That his band have the ability to effortlessly kill the volume and drop back into after-hours blues to let King’s guitar claim the spotlight is one of their most potent power moves. And at 22, King is still a colt, but he has wisdom beyond his years to keep such talented company in a rhythm section comprising Stephen Campbell on bass and Jack Ryan on drums. And with Deshawn Alexander on keys, Dean Mitchell on saxophone and Justin Johnson on trumpet and trombone, the Marcus King Band have the chops to write the next chapter on blues and soul.