Marcus King is only twenty-three, but his debut solo album, the Dan Auerbach-produced El Dorado, almost feels overdue. Born in Greenville, South Carolina, King has been playing professionally since he was eleven, garnering viral attention for his otherworldly guitar skills and attracting a devoted live following on stages across the country. He’s released three full-length albums as frontman of the Marcus King Band (each of which has hit the top ten on the Billboard blues charts), made his Grand Ole Opry debut, and last September hosted artists including Jason Isbell and Josh Ritter at his new Marcus King Band Family Reunion, held just outside his adopted hometown of Asheville, North Carolina.
Recorded at Easy Eye Sound in Nashville, El Dorado is a country-soul gem that shows off King’s many musical strengths. His bluesy vocals are front-and-center on slower numbers such as “Beautiful Stranger” and the smooth, blissed-out “Love Song.” But his harder-rocking roots reveal themselves too, such as on the barn burner “Say You Will,” which Garden & Gun is proud to premiere below. A blistering guitar stunner, it promises to dial up any winter playlist.
“‘Say You Will’ has a classic rock ’n’ roll feel meant to make you want to move,” says King, who cites Joe Walsh, Eric Clapton, and the band Mountain as major influences. “When listening to this song, you should be rowdy, whether you’re at work or a cookout.”