Saturday, September 16, 2017

Ya didn't want to wake me from the slumber I was in, Instead you just let me be. Ain't nothin' wrong with that, baby. Ain't nothin' wrong with that.

How I imagine an interview with Marcus King would go:

Interviewer: So, how did you come up with your unique sound? Where do you find the creative space to make your music?
Musician response: The music was already there – it just came through me. I guess you could say I'm a muse. It already existed in the universe and I am a medium through which it manifests.

Marcus King is a conduit for divine sound. Whatever might be his other talents, which I am sure are many, King was put on this earth to channel music. As his fingertips glide over the slender neck of his grandfather’s burgundy 1962 Gibson ES-345, he sings the blues of a man who’s been alive on this earth for much longer than 21 years. Strife, sorrow, heartache, love and joy. Blues ballads of a rapturous, yet painful at times, wondrous life. He gets it.

His voice and microphone finesse are nothing short of prodigy art, as Warren Haynes, Susan Tedeschi, and Derek Trucks I know would attest. He is “the anointed one” of the upcoming generation, and anyone who says “all the good musicians have died” has not been digging into the music scene long enough. And they most certainly have not seen Marcus King live. Marcus moves his crowd to tears, or at the very least, wide-eyed enchantment.

We showed up to his $19 ticket concert ready to rock, which we did, and we danced. But when it all was said and done, and we had cut a rug to our hearts’ content, all we could do was stand there, watching him in awe with arms crossed and mouths agape. This Greenville South Carolina native is what we’ve all been waiting for. His talent is taking the world by storm. Suffice it to say it almost made me feel a little less grief about Duane Allman dying so young in a motorcycle accident because whatever Duane left behind, Marcus is surely picking up and RUNNING with it.

 As I watched Marcus King beguile the audience, I could see Stevie Ray Vaughn, Etta James, Jimi Hendrix, Duane and Greg Allman and so many other late musicians looking upon him, smiling.
“Let there be music,” they’re saying from heaven, “and let it explode through the heart, voice, and fingertips of Marcus King.”

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Been in the back-room dealin' Been on a long hook reelin', Crashed in the shed and I awoke in a sunny bed ... and I still got a long way to go

Railroad Earth represents all the types of music that we wish we were able to experience in the 1960’s. During a time when The Band-loving hippies of yesteryear swayed in unison with their eyes closed to Levon Helm’s ballads, when the Beatles left listeners sobbing over the lack of unity in the world, when folks stomped the wood of New Orleans porches to the beat of a steel string and the twang of a banjo. Known for their extensive improvisation and seamless narratives, Railroad Earth takes listeners on a journey through all of life’s emotions.

Nobody puts baby in a corner, or Railroad Earth in a box. Railroad Earth transcends the depths of acoustic, lyrical and sensory bliss, not dimension a light show that rivals visual connoisseurs, like PHISH and Pretty Lights. Their fractals are off the chain.

Vocalist and songwriter, Todd Schaeffer, had been writing lyrics for songs his entire life. When Todd found Tim Carbone (violins), John Skehan (mandolin, piano), Andy Goessling (acoustic guitar, banjo) and Carey Harmon (drums, percussion) they formed the perfect quintuplet for success. In no time at all, they added Andrew Altman (upright bass), named themselves “Railroad Earth” after Jack Kerouac’s short story “October in the Railroad Earth,” and took to the festival circuit. Not surprisingly, they played at the Telluride Bluegrass festival in the first year of their tour and were offered a record deal by Sugar Hill Records on the spot.

Sixteen years of critically acclaimed albums, singles, sold out shows and epic musical roots magic explosions later, Railroad Earth is a national sensation.