Home Read Albums Of The Week: Marcus King | Young Blood

Albums Of The Week: Marcus King | Young Blood

The southern singer-songwriter and guitar slinger is firing on all cylinders with this blistering, full-bodied batch of blues-rock, bouncing boogie, swampy soul & more.

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THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “All hail to Marcus King. The 26-year-old Grammy-nominated innovative songwriter and phenomenal performer is soon to become rock royalty with the release of Young Blood, a timeless concoction of swaggering rock and supersonic soul drawing on his most stadium-sized rock influences.

Young Blood is an album about looking at tough times in your rear view mirror, although King shares that his anthemic tales of excess and salvation draw on some difficult and personal moments. King stated, “I was going through a lot during the album with addictions, breakups, and addictions because of breakups. I was overindulging in everything.” He added, “It’s not a big secret to my friends. I was in a real rough place for a while. I was trying to process the death of family members and I was on the wrong medications.”

Despite the challenging personal circumstances, King has made his most accomplished work to date. Black Keys frontman Dan Auerbach, one of his biggest fans and the album’s producer, exclaimed: “Music runs so deep in Marcus’s blood he might not even realize how born to do this he is. He’s the real deal. Marcus has Southern Soul as part of his foundation. If you’re going to play rock ’n’ roll with Marcus, you have to understand that element. It’s just who he is. These songs are live performances. The whole damn thing is live — the solos and everything. It’s so rare in this day and age.”

King and Auerbach set out to capture the classic power trio sound — as pioneered in the late ’60s and ’70s — with a sonic triad of bass, drums, and guitar. The album was recorded at Auerbach’s Easy Eye Sound Studio in Nashville in the summer of 2021, with Chris St. Hilaire on drums and Nick Movshon on bass. Songs were written by King and Auerbach in collaboration with legends like Desmond Child and Angelo Petraglia, noted for their work with bands from Aerosmith to Kings of Leon.

King has been an outlier from the very beginning. A fourth-generation musician from Greenville, S.C., he began learning guitar at age three from his blues-rock musician father Marvin King. He navigated troublesome school years to quickly become known as one of the most promising young artists of our time. He followed his breakout success with The Marcus King Band with his Auerbach-produced 2020 solo debut El Dorado. It garnered a Grammy Award nomination in the category of Best Americana Album and critical praise from far and wide. With unparalleled performance prowess and a dynamic live show, King has sold out historic venues from the Beacon to the Filmore. He has opened for Chris Stapleton, Greta Van Fleet and Nathaniel Rateliff and graced the bills of Stagecoach, Fuji Rock, Rock Werchter and more.

“We tour almost 200 days of the year, and even when I’m home, I’m doing something,” King said. “Working hard is just the way I was raised. It would make my grandfather proud to know I’m a hard working man and I’ve worked for everything I have. It’s an anthem for the people. You’ve got folks who work all week and spend their hard-earned money just to come see us. They’re the backbone of America. It’s a real blessing.”

King will continue to tear up the rulebook with the release of Young Blood, redefining the route to modern rock stardom with a timeless sound and a singular voice, equal parts grease and grit, set to soon establish him as one of the most soulful vocalists of his generation.”