Marcus King and Joe Bonamassa talk musical influences

Article Contributed by Big Hassle Media | Published on Friday, March 5, 2021

In this riveting new interview between two Grammy-nominated artists, Blues Rock Titan Joe Bonamassa talks with newcomer Marcus King for his incredible new interview series Live From Nerdville. The two chat about everything from the first the last time they saw each other in person at the Holland International Blues Festival to King’s first Grammy nomination this year for Best Americana Album with his debut record ‘El Dorado.’

They also discuss what it was like for King to work with Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys. King says that he likens Dan to Captain Ahab from Moby Dick… an interesting comparison!

Joe also gets personal with Marcus about growing up in a musical family with his dad and grandfather being well known musicians in different music scenes. King shares that his grandfather got him into country artists like George Jones, Merle Haggard, Willie Nelson, and Charley Pride, all of whom his grandfather had the pleasure of performing with as a backup vocalist.

As for his father? The Allman Brothers, Lynyrd Skynyrd and Jimi Hendrix.

As for Marcus himself? When asked about the first musicians he embraced musically on his own, he says James Brown, then, Aretha Franklin, Janis Joplin, and Tina Turner. He goes on to say he loved how their soulful vocals would transcend their emotions to their audiences. In fact, he even tried to emulate the riffs of these artists while playing his “PV Bandit” as a kid.

“I was trying to copy Aretha Franklin, Tina Turner and Janice riffs and what they were doing vocally and trying to get the sound and riffs out of my PV Bandit and my Vox overdrive! <laughing> I was a kid trying to recreate what they were doing and just playing it.” – MARCUS KING


“People like to see what’s real; they like to see the unrehearsed, they like to see the breaking of that fourth wall, where we finally say yeah, this is show business!” – MARCUS KING referring to a disastrous show then ultimately receiving a 5 out of 5-star review.

“Giving everything, you have when you have nothing left” – MARCUS KING referring to performing.