Marcus King Band’s Friendship With Warren Haynes Is ‘a Dream Come True’
The Marcus King Band's music is a Southern rock-y blend of blues, soul and funk, and their not-yet-old-enough-to-drink frontman hails from Greenville, S.C. -- all facts that draw comparisons to Warren Haynes' music (he plays blues-y Southern rock, among other genres), early career (he began playing with David Allan Coe at the age of 20) and upbringing (he's an Asheville, N.C., native). So it's not too surprising that since Haynes heard MKB in 2014, he's taken a liking to the six-piece band.
After some mutual acquaintances passed King's music along to Haynes, the group was booked to play as part of Haynes' Christmas Jam concert ... then offered an opening spot for a Greenville show by Haynes' group Gov't Mule ... then invited to jam onstage. And then, signed to Evil Teen Records, the president of which is Haynes' wife, Stefanie Scamardo.
"Warren's really been a hero of mine ever since I was really young, ever since I started playing, as a singer and as a writer, and as a player," King told The Boot after his band's set at Mountain Jam 2016. "And to be able to work with him has just been -- it's a dream come true, and he's such a sweet and humble guy, so we just hit it off right off that bat, and it's just been really great."
During the Marcus King Band's 45-minute set at the festival on Friday (June 3), Haynes briefly joined them onstage to jam -- and when the group releases the follow-up project to their debut record, Soul Insight, it will be under Haynes' watch.
"Every time we see him, we get another piece of advice that's just golden -- something that we can take with us everywhere that we go," King says. "His composition skills are really killer, and I've learned a lot about writing songs just through listening to his music and hanging out with him and talking about writing and stuff like that."
Not that the Marcus King Band didn't already know a thing or two about making good music and playing a good show. At festivals and during opening gigs, King explains, they've learned that winning over a crowd involves "a really big give and take."
"We like to feel the reciprocation from the crowd whenever we’re playing and feel whatever it is they’re digging on at the moment and go off of what they’re feeling," King notes. "We don’t really write setlists, we just kind of go off of what the vibe is telling us to do.”
Friday at Mountain Jam 2016 in Pictures