The Marcus King Band unpacked a suitcase full of soulful rock and blues for a house packed with adoring fans at Saint Andrews Hall in Detroit.

In the short span of time that the Marcus King Band has been in existence they have forever brightened the world with their stupendous blend of blues, rock, soul, and jazz. The band’s latest offering Carolina Confessions is musically delightful and replete with emotion. Like most emerging artists trying to cut through the plethora of music available today, the Marcus King Band tirelessly roam the road with their joyous music in tow. Tonight finds them settling in with several hundred of their best friends to enjoy a scintillating night of music at Saint Andrews Hall in Detroit.

Stripped to the bone and soaked in the muddy waters of delta blues is the band Ida Mae. The recently married duo of Christopher Turpin and Stephanie Jean originate from the UK, but call Nashville home. Their music puts the spotlight on the roots of the blues. They sweeten the deal with lush vocal harmonies that interplay with the singing slide guitar. The roof-rattling stomps accentuate the vibrant pulse of the music. Chris and Stephanie play for each other as much as for us. Their enthusiasm is infectious and the fans provide hearty applause when Chris mentions that they have recently signed a record deal. If you enjoy heartfelt blues music with a modern pulse, then be sure to catch Ida Mae on stage. Better yet, catch them on stage and then go buy some of their music online.

As the iconic intro of “Detroit Rock City” jams out of the house PA, the Marcus King Band heads up on stage to a roaring crowd. This place is packed and the atmosphere vibrates with anticipated joy which is soon rewarded as the band starts to jam. Marcus fires up his Gibson and the band follows suit. Kicking in the bottom end and propelling the music is the action hero Jack Ryan on drums and love doctor Stephen Campbell on bass. Keeping things spicy hot and snappy on the keyboards is Deshawn Alexander. Calling to heaven with brilliant brass is Justin Johnson (trumpet/trombone) and Dean Mitchell (sax).

The Marcus King Band treat us to a number of vibrant and soulful songs from the new Carolina Confessions album. This included the aching loss of “8am” and the funky Motown vibe of “How Long”. Each song played with such vigor that you could physically feel the emotional release.

The long jam where everyone in the Marcus King Band can spread their wings is a hallmark of any performance by the band and they proceeded to tear it up on stage. They rolled heavy and hot like a purple Cadillac into an extended funky jam. This included a hip-shaking rendition of Ike and Tina Turner’s “Sexy Ida” that morphed into a sing-a-long to “Pappa Was A Rolling Stone” by the Temptations. Shining smiling faces beamed with joy as everyone moved to the rhythm of this glorious music.

The spectacular jam session continued with a high octane version of “Plant Your Corn Early” full of sparkling horns and more funky beats. John Ryan’s drum solo gave everyone but him a breather before bringing back the rest of the band. Now it was time for Stephen Campbell to let his fingers fly on the bass and pump the house up. Marcus’s gorgeous soul blazed through his voice on “Homesick” and he invited all of us to join in at the end. The band rounds out the set with “How Long” before ducking backstage.

A hail of cries from the crowd called the Marcus King Band back for an encore. This includes two more gems from the new album including “Confessions” and “Autumn Rains”. The supreme gift arrives when Marcus invites Ida Mae to the stage to help him out on “Can’t Find My Way Home” by Blind Faith. One of the most amazing songs ever written is given all the love it deserves and it moves me to tears.

This show brightens up the long night of winter in Motown. The Marcus King Band give us comfort in these troubled times. They reaffirm the promise of beautiful music played with love and devotion.

Marcus King Band
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Ida Mae
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Saint Andrews Hall
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Event Date: 01-DEC-2019

About The Author

Chuck is a native Michigander. He grew up in Detroit, and later Pinckney. He now calls Ann Arbor home. Running is in Chuck’s blood. He has run several marathons and numerous other races. His favorite race is Dances with Dirt in Hell, Michigan. Chuck was first exposed to photography in 7th grade. He has been a photographer ever since, honing his skills shooting landscapes and most recently concerts. In addition to experiencing music from behind the camera, Chuck is a musician in his own right. He has been playing guitar since his teen years. He played in Detroit area metal band, Battalion, recorded two independent releases, and toured. Today when not covering concerts, you can find him online at his blog, Life In Michigan.

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