An Interview With MARCUS KING About His Upcoming September Music Festival, The Marcus King Band Family Reunion!
Posted On 01 Aug 2019
The soulful rock explosion The Marcus King Band recently announced the lineup for their third annual festival, The Marcus King Band Family Reunion, happening September 27 + 28, 2019 at Pisgah Brewing Company in Western North Carolina. For initial lineup – alt-country pioneers Jason Isbell and The 400 Unit, americana troubadour Josh Ritter, fiddle-playing songstress Amanda Shires, indie rockers Futurebirds, plus Los Coast, and Charlie Overbey & The Broken Arrows join festival namesake The Marcus King Band performing two sets over the multi-day event. More artists will be announced soon.
“Each year Family Reunion grows more and more while still maintaining the festival’s original concept,” says curator Marcus King. Family Reunion is about “bringing together our families – the brothers and sisters we’ve come to know on the road, for a weekend of breaking bread, making music, and fellowship. We hope to see all of YOU at the annual Family Reunion this year.”
This year, the event continues in soulful swagger and will boast an even more sophisticated lineup of heavy hitters in the alt-country and Americana genres. Acts will perform on two stages including the intimate open-air indoor tasting room stage and the naturally set outdoor stage featuring a Blue Ridge Mountain backdrop.
Marcus King comes from a long lineage of talented musicians and has been writing and performing onstage for half of his lifetime. He has been earning widespread acclaim as a guitar virtuoso with his band (The Marcus King Band), who recently released their third studio album Carolina Confessions, last fall. The 10-track LP, produced and mixed by Grammy-award winner Dave Cobb (Chris Stapleton, Sturgill Simpson, Jason Isbell) topped Americana charts nationwide and received critical acclaim from the likes of VICE Noisey (“astounding and triumphant”), NPR (“tenacious and vulnerable”), and more.
At only 23 years of age, King is already selling out venues and establishing himself as an “electrifying rock performer” (Rolling Stone). Just this past weekend, the band’s live-steamed three-night run at Brooklyn Bowl sold out in advance, and later this summer, the group will embark on a string of dates with multi-Grammy winner Chris Stapleton. King, who recently relocated to Nashville with his band-mates, has received nods for helping to bridge the gap between country music and rock n’ roll and continues to turn heads with his blistering brand of soulful rock.
Tickets are now Available At: mkb.lnk.to/familyreunion
Festival Information: mkbfamilyreunion.com/
Learn more about Marcus King and this upcoming festival in the following All Access interview:
Thanks for your time today! Where does this interview find you?
I’m at home on my front porch in Nashville.
Now that we are more then half-way through the year, how has 2019 been treating you?
2019 has been even better than 2018 and I thought that was gonna be a hard one to beat!
What are some goals that you have for yourself and your band this year?
Health has been a goal of mine all year. I’m hoping for the band to become tighter and grow more individually and as a unit, in the eyes of ourselves and the public.
How close are you to reaching them?
Goals for me are really put there to be just intangible enough to never reach. So you can always continue to strive for what you want.
Growing up, how important was music in your life? Can you recall the moment when you decided that you wanted to be a musician? Was it an easy or difficult choice to make?
There was never a definitive moment for me except “ this is what I’m going to do.” Because I never thought otherwise. This was just what it was. Music, for me, was the only thing when I was a kid. The only thing that mattered other than family, ya know?
Was there ever a time when you thought about doing something else? If you weren’t a musician today, what else could you see yourself doing? Would you be as fulfilled in life?
Music being such a therapeutic thing for me and being such a release mentally, I always thought that I would want to get into the psychiatric field. Try to get a degree in that and study more from that end of it to understand why it is such an important thing for me.
What has been the biggest surprise so far about making music your career? What has been an unexpected or welcome challenge to it all?
The biggest surprise about music being my career would be how much time you spend away from home. And how often people try to put makeup on ya. (haha)
Let’s talk about third annual The Marcus King Band Family Reunion. What has it been like putting this festival together? Where did the idea to create this festival first come from?
When we started traveling a lot more, I started missing all the family reunions and the family get togethers. So, I just decided to build a music festival around the core concept of getting the family together and fellowshipping over music and family and home-cooked meals. Just like we used to do when I was a kid. In addition to 3 or 4 thousand of our closest friends as well.
How do you go about choosing the artists that will be on the line-up at the festival? Is this a difficult task? Can you tell us about the musicians that will be performing at this years festival? What about the vendors? What was it like picking and choosing those?
We try to keep the lineup pretty in line with the concept of the festival, which is, family. So, if you’re an artist that we have come across on the road and care about, and have come to be like road family, we like to have you at the family reunion. Or if you are like an extended family member that we know through someone else that we have worked with. This year, we have Jason Isbell and Amanda Shires, who I have not spent much time with personally, but we have mutual friends and almost family member, Dave Cobb. We like to pick vendors from the same thread. People that we have met at various festivals through the years that have struck us with their passion for what they do. That also matches the passion for what we do and same thing with the Artists. We like to find people that love what they do and understand what a blessing it is to do this.
Why is the Pisgah Brewing Company in Western North Carolina the perfect place for this festival? How did you decide on this location?
We used to play at pisgah all the time. And we would kind of hone our chops as a group there. And it became like a second home for us. Western NC, Asheville, and Black Mountain kind of became like a second home for the band in the early days. And that venue has always felt like home, so it was an obvious choice.
What can fans expect from your performance this year at the festival?
We plan to bring a lot of the new material that hasn’t been released yet. We also plan to have some family jams.
What would you say is the most fun and most challenging parts about putting a festival like this one together?
The most challenging part is just being able to get everything that you want included. We want to do so many things, sometimes it just isn’t possible to make it all happen. The most fun part is making music and making memories with family and loved ones.
How do you think you have grown as a musician since you first started making music?
Musically, I have learned to listen a lot more. And it’s still something I work on. And I think it’s the most important part of music is just to listen more than you speak.
What has it been like keeping up with your social media accounts and all of the different platforms? Is it hard to stay up to date on it all? What would you say is your favorite way to connect with your fans now? What has social media done for your career so far?
Social media is a really big help and huge asset in today’s music world. It really gives you
a leg up, as far as getting the word to your people. We have been really blessed with a diligent team of individuals with our management, who keep a steady eye on it and a close watch. We also like to stay in touch with our fans with instagram messages and various other platforms like Twitter.
Who are some of your favorite artists or rather, what musicians have continued to inspire you and your music? Who would you absolutely love to work with in the future?
Nathaniel Rateliff continues to be somebody that inspires me and that has been a good friend. Obviously, Dan Auerbach is one of the hardest working people that I have had the pleasure of working with. I would also have to honorably mention Dave Cobb as a really hardworking, intelligent individual.
If you had an unlimited budget and your schedule was free, what would your dream music video look like?
I’d like to do something like what Pink Floyd did in Pompeii. I’d like to find a decommissioned feeder over in Europe and find something that has been through it. The main part of the budget would just be running tower and getting our gear there.
At the end of the day, what do you hope people take away from your music?
At the end of the day, it’s up to their own interpretation, that’s my goal with my music. I would like people to receive it in the way that they hear it.
Would you like to share anything else with our readers about your music?
We got a lot of big news to announce, a lot of living to do, and a lot of good times to be had.