The Marcus King Band blew away all our cares with their unique blend of blues, rock, soul, and jazz at Saint Andrews Hall in Detroit.
When you have a group of musicians with so much raw talent and passion for their art, people will react. The Marcus King Band’s dedication to their music and playing it for their fans has shot them into orbit. Having recently tasted big stadiums opening for Chris Stapleton, it is deeply gratifying to still be able to see the Marcus King Band here at Saint Andrews Hall in Detroit.
The opening performance from Ian Noe transports us to the front porch for powerful and sobering stories of life in America. Ian’s debut album is called Between The Country. It is clear from Ian’s plaintive voice that he has been cut from the same cloth as John Prine and Bob Dylan. His face is etched with emotion as he sings “Letter To Madeline,” “Barbara’s Song,” and “Meth Head.” Backing up Ian on stage is Michael Zimmerman (bass), Erin Nelson (drums), and Stephen Daly (guitar). They flesh out these thoughtful tales which keep the nearly packed house enthralled.The audience is spilling out the back door of Saint Andrews Hall as the lights dim and the cheers rise. With a humble smile and an acoustic guitar, Marcus King takes to the stage with Jack Ryan (drums), Stephen Campbell (bass), Justin Johnson (trumpet), Dean Mitchell (sax), and Simon Thomas George (keyboards). Together they open up with a bare-bones intro to “Welcome ‘Round Here” before Marcus grabs a gorgeous Gibson Les Paul Black Beauty to put some spit and fire into this brawling blues tune.
The audience loses themselves in the sweet soulful Motown grooves of “How Long.” The bright and beautiful horns, the sturdy rhythm, sassy keyboards, and guitars have us all dancing. The psychedelic jazz jam of “Self-Hatred” is a potent performance. Marcus easily coaxes his guitar to sing out as Simon nudges his keyboard to join into a beautiful conversation.
The Marcus King Band delivers a smoking hot cover of Willie Dixon’s “I Just Want to Make Love to You.” After the extended funky jams of “Plant Your Corn Early,” the band make a 180 with the Waylon Jennings classic “Good Hearted Woman.” This allows for a marvelous segue into “Goodbye Carolina” from the most recent Carolina Confessions album to close out the set.
The encore feels like a gospel revival as The Marcus King Band ignites with a soulful and righteous cover of “The Weight” by The Band. Marcus asks if he can share a new song from his upcoming album called El Dorado which was produced by Dan Auerbach (Black Keys). This new album is due out on January 17, 2020. With no objections, the band plays on. This song dovetails into the revival feel with the band kicking it out hard and strong.
Some may seek solace and recovery in a church or the outdoors. For us tonight, we bask in the comfort and healing art of The Marcus King Band. Great music always finds a home within the hearts of fans who are forever changed by their experience with it. While the recorded music of The Marcus King Band is inspirational and palliative, its true healing power is found in live performance. The joy and passion fill the space between us to make us one. This night with the The Marcus King Band at Saint Andrews Hall in Detroit is love in the form of music. Thank you The Marcus King Band for giving us a well to restore our souls.MARCUS KING BAND
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