Saturday Night Music Interlude — The Marcus King Band performing “Rita is Gone”

The lead singer and guitarist that provides the Marcus King Band’s moniker hails from Greenville, South Carolina, and plays what he calls “soul-influenced psychedelic southern rock,” which is an apt description.  Only 20 years old, Marcus King’s father, Marvin King, was a regionally popular blues and gospel singer, and his grandfather was a regional musician as well.  Growing up as a boy, young Marcus told eastof8th blog “I was listening to George Jones, Chet Atkins, and Merle Haggard with my granddad.  Later on, I was heavily influenced by jazz cats like Coltrane, Miles Davis, and Jimmy Smith.”

The legendary Warren Haynes has promoted Marcus and his band as a true believer, performing with them at concerts and inviting Marcus King to perform with him in the band Gov’t Mule.  The band has two albums to its credit: Soul Insight, a gritty blues, southern rock and prog rock-inflected debut, and the self-titled double disc Marcus King Band on the Fantasy label.

Touring in anticipation of their new album, they impressed at SXSW, jamming out with George Clinton, performed at Mountain Jam that included electric sets and extended jams with Warren Haynes, and–a last minute substitute booking–took the XPoNential Music Festival in Philadelphia by storm, becoming WXPN’s August Artist to Watch.

You can hear the musical influences that informed Marcus’ sound blend together in the mix of horns, drums, keyboards, and guitar, the band’s eclectic mix of blues, soul, prog rock, and southern rock producing a gumbo reminiscent of Tower of Power at their peak mixed in with a bit of Allman Brothers, a slice of John McLaughlin, a dash of Gov’t Mule, and a pinch of Hendrix psychedelia.  While still a bit raw and unfocused at times, this is one talent to watch as he matures and develops his sound.

Here is the band at WFUV performing “Rita is Gone.”

 

Weekend Music — The Revivalists performing “Wish I Knew You”

The Revivalists are out of New Orleans.  They consist of David Shaw on vocals, Zack Feinberg on guitar, Ed Williams on the pedal steel, Rob Ingraham on saxophone, and a rhythm section consisting of Andrew Campanelli on drums, George Gekas on bass, and Michael Girardot on keys (and occasional trumpet).  The band has been around for eight years now, having its roots at the Big Easy’s Tipitina’s Sunday Workshops as well as bar/laundromat (yes…only in NOLA) Checkpoint Charlie’s open mic nights.  Their latest album is entitled Men Amongst Mountains.  Their music is exciting singular, iconoclastic modern rock/soul. Give them a listen.

Saturday Night Music Interlude — The Arcs performing “Put a Flower in Your Pocket,” “Outta My Mind,” and “Stay In My Corner.”

The Arcs are comprised of Dan Auerbach (of The Black Keys), Leon Michels, Richard Swift, Homer Steinweiss, and Nick Movshon, which is a side project of Auerbach while Black Keys drummer Patrick Carney recovers from an injury.  They released an album of bluesy soul, rock, rhythm & blues, and psychedelic rock on the 5th of this month entitled “Yours, Dreamily.”  Also on the album are guitarist Kenny Vaughan and Mariachi Flor de Toloache, a female Mariachi band.

 

Sunday Music Interlude — Leon Bridges performing “Coming Home” Live

Hailing from Fort Worth Texas, Leon Bridges has broken onto the music scene with a handful of essential-when-you-hear-them soul and R&B.  His voice is reminiscent–both smooth and deep–as “Dock of the Bay”-era Otis Redding and “Chain Gang”-era Sam Cooke.  He made the WXPN The Key’s February 9th edition “Gotta Hear Song of the Week.”  In looking up his bio he is a mystery.  He has a website, Soundcloud, and Facebook page.  Obviously he feels content to speak through his music, which is extraordinary.

Here he is performing live at Little Rock’s White Water Tavern.

Holiday Music Interlude — Trigger Hippy performing “Who Will Wear The Crown”

Trigger Hippy is the roots supergroup out of Nashville. Coming out of the AmericanaFest they were crowned as the Best Supergroup by Rolling Stone in their “20 Best Things We Saw at AmericanaFest”.  The group is made up of singers Jackie Greene and Joan Osborne, Black Crowes drummer Steve Gorman, bassist Nick Govrik, and guitarist Tom Bukovac.  Most supergroup efforts are hit-or-miss affairs, especially given the conflicting egos and visions of musicians otherwise used to performing with an established set of bandmates or acting as a leader in their own right.  This is not the case here.  These talented individuals have a common feel and passion for the music and it can be heard in their playing.  Their album was just released this past September and has earned raves from critics.  Their musical influences are from the blues, rhythm & blues, soul, folk, and country-rock.  Here they are performing at the XPoNential Music Festival 2014 this past September in Camden, NJ.  WXPN, which is the sponsor of XPoNential is the public radio station of the University of Pennsylvania.  They can be found at XPN.org, and for those who haven’t given them a listen.  If you do I think you will agree that they are also one of the best radio stations in the country.