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We are super excited to present ‘Marcus King | Four of a Kind | Live from Nashville’. This special series of live shows will be broadcasted over at marcusking.com every Monday at 9pm EST starting the 13th of July, running through to the 3rd of August. Each night will see The Marcus King Band with different guests, such as Mastodon’s Brent Hinds and bluegrass musician Billy Strings.

Proceeds from the shows will benefit MusiCares, and Spotify COVID-19 Music Relief project will match donations, up to a collective total of $10 million. With live music at a halt for the time being and foreseeable future, we are very excited to be able to bring Marcus and friends directly to your living room, and all for a good cause! Get your tickets here.

Our third ‘How I got into playing’ post where we as part of our ‘Learn the Orange Way’ campaign, offer free guitar lessons for all Orange users (more on that here), and share a series of quotes from some of our artists on why how they got into playing.

Marcus King, The Marcus King Band

I first started playing when I was about 3 or 4, and I’ve been playing professionally since I was about 11. I was really inspired by guitar players such as Clapton, Hendrix and Stevie Ray Vaughn from a young age, another early discovery was The Allman Brothers Band, as well as The Marshall Tucker Band and a bunch of other great Southern bands. Later on, I got really intrigued by “the frontman”, and artists such as James Brown, Otis Redding  and Aretha Franklin – anyone who had that certain attitude would really speak to me. What really changed the game for me was when I started studying jazz theory, and discovering Miles Davis and John Coltrane was really life changing to me, a clear game changer.

Steve Bello

I heard Led Zeppelin when I was four years old, thanks to my aunt, not that she was aware of it at the time. My grandfather was a jazz guitarist way back when, so while I liked that there was a guitar player in the house, I wanted to play heavy rock from the start. Grew up listening to Zep, Queen, Aerosmith, Kiss. Started learning guitar at age 9 but didn’t take it seriously until I saw Ritchie Blackmore on MTV smashing his guitar, and seeing videos of Jimi Hendrix lighting his Strat on fire. Both of those moments made me think “I have to play guitar for life!”

Becky Blomfield, Milk Teeth

I grew up surrounded by music and the people playing it, my grandmother played and my dad played the saxophone. It was something I just naturally gravitated towards from a very young age, and it didn’t go away. I think you either have it in you or you dont, and for me it was just something I stuck with.

Since 2016 Orange Amplifiers has had an artist relations office in Nashville, TN. Nashville is known for much more than Country music these days. As the result of a migration from LA, NY and points all over the US (and beyond) by artists like Jack White, Black Keys, and many others, a very thriving local Indie scene has exploded here. Consequently, we see artists of every stripe here in the Nashville Showroom.

In a given month we may have visits from the guys from Catfish and the Bottle Men, Mothership, Tyler Bryant and the Shakedown, Lilly Winwood, Velvet Starlings, Skeleton Krew, Marcus King or Smashing Pumpkins.

Having said all this, we do get our share of straight Country Music artists as well. It’s just sometimes tough to draw the distinction between who is Country, Rock or Americana these days. How does one define a brilliant guitarist like longtime Orange Ambassador Marcus King or Zakk Brown?

Marcus King with Orange’s Nashville Artist Rep, Pat Foley

Just recently we had a major video shoot take place in the showroom and in the parking lot just outside. It was a full-on roundup of bikers, hot rods, beer, barbeque and loud music. Billy F Gibbons and Orange Ambassador Tim Montana teamed up on the video for their project called the Whisker Brothers. The theme was a celebration of summer days and nights and particularly the joys of a major barbeque cookout and party. Rather unusual and very country.

BBQ and Cars…yeah, that seems about right for a Tim Montana/ZZ Top video shoot

Our regular visitors run the gamut from country session players like Pat Buchanan and Buddy Woodward looking to borrow something special for a session, rockin country bands like The Cadillac 3 or members of Luke Combs Band, full on Rock bands like The Gene Simmonds Band or mega guitarist Orianthi as well as Country singers like Margot Price or Raelyn Nelson. We also regularly provide amps or pedals to some legendary Nashville studios like RCA Studio B, Omni Sound or Ocean Way. Just this week we provided two AD30 amps and  multiple cabs to new Orange Ambassador Adam Lester for the Peter Frampton Tour which should be amazing judging by the rehearsals.

One of the artists we are featuring for Voice of Country Month is a great new Country artist from Rochester, NY named Claudia Hoyser. Claudia and her producer, Tony Gross paid us a visit a while back while in town for the Country Radio Seminar. Claudia loved the Rocker 15 and Tony was enthralled with the Acoustic pre-amp which he has integrated into both their recording and performance rigs.

New Orange Ambassador Claudia Hoyser

We get it all here in Nashville. If you happen to be on the road and passing through Nashville feel free to give us a call and perhaps drop in for a visit.

Orange Amps Nashville: 1310 Clinton Street, Suite 105, Nashville, Tennessee, 37203

There were a lot of whispers within the company about Marcus King before his London Islington Assembly show, a gig where Orange founder and CEO Cliff Cooper embarked on a two hour journey to introduce himself and say hello before the show, and where I had countless phone calls, messages and emails from various colleagues around the globe pre interview, making me aware of how.god.damn.important. this 22 year old guitar prodigy was for the future of music and how they’d send me home on the first flight to Norway (not really…) if I didn’t make a good impression – so no pressure there.. During the interview I found out more about his love for the charismatic frontman, and that he started playing guitar at the age of 3, an age where I personally was still trying to grow a full head of hair. To get back into it, ladies and gentlemen, the ever so clever, Marcus King.

Finding someone like yourself playing this sort of music and playing it as well as you do at 22, really makes me believe there’s hope for future generations. I assume you must have been young when you started playing, may I ask how young?
Marcus King:
I first started playing when I was about 3 or 4, and I’ve been playing professionally since I was about 11.

I’m guessing music’s been a natural part of your upbringing as you come from a strong blues background with your dad being fellow blues man Marvin King. Apart from that, there are such strong elements of soul, funk, and even some latin grooves in your playing, what other types of music did you listen to when growing up and learning to play?
Marcus King:
I was really inspired by guitar players such as Clapton, Hendrix and Stevie Ray Vaughn from a young age, another early discovery was The Allman Brothers Band, as well as The Marshall Tucker Band and a bunch of other great Southern bands. Later on, I got really intrigued by “the frontman”, and artists such as James Brown, Otis Redding  and Aretha Franklin – anyone who had that certain attitude would really speak to me. What really changed the game for me was when I started studying jazz theory, and discovering Miles Davis and John Coltrane was really life changing to me, a clear game changer.

You got your band with you, The Marcus King Band, here tonight – how do you work when you make music, do you write the most of it on your own and bring it to the band, or is it done as a unit?
Marcus King: Most of the songs I write and bring to the band for them to add in their flavour, and that’s what creates a Marcus King Band song, a collaborative effort. To those of you who don’t know, The Marcus King band is:

Drums: Jack Ryan – 6 years in the band
Trumpet: Justin Johnson – 5 years in the band
Bass: Stephen Campbell – 4 years in the band – Uses an AD200
Saxophone: Dean Mitchell – 4 years in the band
Keys: Deshawn “D-Vibes” Alexander – 1 year in the band

Now to put you on the spot in front of founder Cliff Cooper, how have you been finding using Orange on this past tour?
Marcus King: I’ve loved every second of it – I’ve never had a mishap using an Orange, which is one of the things I love the most about them, how dependable they are. Plus, you can play ‘em straight outta the box! Tonight I’ve got a Rockerverb 50, which is my favourite Orange head, and a 4×12 cab. I’ve also always been a reverb guy so when Orange’s Pat Foley in Nashville introduced me to the Rockerverb, I was sold on it. Pat’s great, and he’s become close friends with my dad as well.