Posted on Jan.29, 2015
Call him the next Duane Allman or Jimi Hendrix, but whatever you do, don’t call Marcus King a child prodigy. Sure, the 18-year-old guitar shredder’s talent shimmers with the same resonance as his heroes, but he’s been wielding an axe since he learned to talk – he started playing when he was 2.
Marcus was born into music, gifted with steel-string DNA and two generations of men before him who nurtured the boy’s musical nature. Marcus’s dad, the slyly talented Marvin King, has been a force in Upstate South Carolina’s music heritage for as long as anyone can remember. Marvin’s father and Marcus’s granddad, Bill, played a big part, too. It was only natural, then, that the boy who got his first guitar (a Squier Strat) at age 7 would land his first paying gig a year later.
When he was 11, he joined his father’s Marvin King & The Blues Revival to open for Muddy Waters’s onetime bassist Mac Arnold at The Handlebar, the storied venue in their Greenville, S.C., hometown. Around that time, he also played on his dad’s critically acclaimed album, Huge in Europe. And when he was 15, the Marcus King Band opened for the legendary Johnny Winter. MKB’s most recent achievement came with the September 2014 release of Soul InSight.