The Marcus King Band – New Mountain Asheville, NC – February 12, 2016
The Marcus King Band has been steadily gaining momentum over the past eighteen months. The band, based out of Greenville, South Carolina, have become known for regularly delivering bombastic live sets at various venues within Asheville’s city limits.
Continuing to tour on their recently re-released debut CD Soul Insight the band pulled into Asheivlle last Friday to perform at New Mountain. Just under a year ago the MKB would typically play to 50-75 people at smaller venues around town, however, in recent months word on the street has apparently spread as MKB is now beginning to play larger venues that are either nearly sold out or sold out all together.
The band, recently signed to Warren Haynes’ label Evil Teen records, has been up in Stamford, Connecticut laying down tracks for their sophomore release with the Asheville legend serving as the record’s producer.
Plenty has been written about Marcus King’s bombastic guitar playing and soulful southern voice and rightfully so but it’s important to note that the Marcus King Band is not simply a one man show.
Jack Ryan (drums), Justin Johnson (horns), Stephen Campbell (bass), Matthew Jennings (keyboards) and the recently added Dean Mitchell on saxophone bring a high level of musical aptitude and energy to the band’s performance that help lift the Marcus King Band to levels live that go beyond well your typical jam band fare.
The band’s performance on the evening featured song MKB classics, a few newer songs that will likely appear on the band’s soon to be released sophomore effort and a couple of unique covers that included snippets of the Beatles “Dear Prudence”, Black Sabbath’s “Iron Man” and an absolutely jaw dropping take on Jimi Hendrix’s “Voodoo Chile”.
The band also had Asheville based bass virtuoso Cody Wright (Jonathan Scales Fourchestra) sit in for a few numbers. All I convey about Wright’s time on stage with the MKB band is holy sh*t!!! I personally would love to see Wright combine with King and MKB band drummer Jack Ryan to form a power rock trio. The force these three brilliant musicians could create together on record and under the lighted stage would most certainly be super charged.
The Marcus King Band has lifted off with an explosion of blues, rock, soul and psychedelia that is without question going to see their trajectory launch well beyond the southeast. Proof of this alone is the fact that the MKB has already been booked to play in Austin at South By Southwest later this year as well as Mountain Jam later this summer where they will share the stage with such music titans as Beck, Gov’t Mule, Gary Clark Jr. Lettuce, Wilco and others.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again in these pages; I highly suggest that you get out and see the Marcus King Band at these intimate venues and for short dollars while you still can. I assure you it will not be too long before the band is regularly playing much larger venues at shows that will definitely put a much larger dent in your wallet.
A brief aside New Mountain as a venue has come a long way recently. Maybe it’s just me but it seems as though the sound is bigger and more fluid than it’s every been inside the venue’s walls.
Already known as one Asheville’s premier venues, myself and every other live music fan can only hope that these improvements are but a harbinger of greater things from the folks over at New Mountain.