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Marcus King – Interview at Red Rocks

So you’ve heard these questions before but when did you start playing guitar?
Well my grandfather was a guitar player and my father is as well. My great grandfather played the fiddle. I just grew up playing music.

So, your father played professionally?
Yeah. He still does. He was on the road his entire life.

Does he play a similar type of music to you? I mean has your music evolved out of what you heard from him?
Yes and no. It’s like a lot of it’s from my grandfather. He played a lot of Country Western, and like Chuck Berry and the Ventures. My dad played stuff like Allman Brothers, Foghat and Wishbone Ash.

Like what we now call Classic Rock?
Yeah, and he was into those bands in the early 70s late 70s and he also played in some country bands in the 80s and 90s as well. So there was a lot of that influence. My dad is also a big blues nut, so I used to go through his blues collection at the house and he would always be teaching me, you know.

So, did you cop any of your guitar style maybe from some of those records?
Well, I was digging through anything I could find. I would say my guitar style is mostly attributed to fact that don’t listen to guitar players specifically. I stopped listening to guitar players consciously at a young age so I could focus on trying to have a different sound and not sound like a watered down version of someone else.

Well, you’ve got that…
Thank you. What I would mainly listen to was like pedal steel players and I listened to a lot of tenor saxophone players, because that’s really similar sonically, in my opinion, to the guitar. I mean you can emulate some of the saxophone sounds and some of the runs that they were doing, they had to breathe, you know. So that taught me to, kind of take a breath in between phrasings and not just ramble on. And a lot of organ players as well. I would listen to Jimmy Smith and to Chester Thompson. I Was all over the map, but I was really into it.

For someone your age you have not only the physical ability and dexterity but a very deep musical well to draw from. I just don’t know how to describe your playing. Anyway so you’re recording a new album. What can you tell me about it?
Yeah, the record is called Carolina Confessions and it’s kind of a thematic record looking for some absolution. It’s kind of the concept of the record, it’s taking the concept of confessing your sins and getting them off your conscience.

There’s an element of that in a lot of blues music. So that’s pretty heavy stuff. So, you worked with a new producer on this album?
His name is Dave Cobb and that was a really great experience because Dave’s really got his thing going on and it was great to work with him.

So when did you discover Orange Amps and what turned you on about them?
One of the first times I heard an Orange Amp it was an AD30. I heard my friend playing through it and I couldn’t understand how this much sound was coming through such a small cabinet. That’s when I really fell in love with the Orange sound. My dad, same story, he used to talk about Orange amplifiers when I was a kid. He still loves that little AD30 combo. I think Wishbone Ash used Orange, didn’t they? Anyway he used to say that one day maybe you’ll get yourself an Orange amplifier, that’s insane.

So you’re currently playing a Rockerverb 50 MKIII. How do you like the sound of that?
Love it man. I love reverb. I’m a reverb nut. I’ve gotta have it. So when the Rockerverb 50 MKIII came along and you introduced me to it I was like wow this is like, this is it. This is my bag so, it has worked out really great!

And then you’re off to Europe, well after you finish tonight at Red Rocks with the Tedeschi/Trucks Band. But you are back to Europe at some point this fall, right?
In October we’ll be going back to Europe for the third time this year.

Well, I know that our friends in Europe and across the US are looking forward to hearing you. Thanks For your time Marcus, all the best.

Check out Marcus King online

Interview by Pat Foley, Orange Nashville Artist Rep