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Marcus King and the Medicine of Music

Marcus King and the Medicine of Music

The Southern blues guitar champion talks his touring routines, custom gear, working with Rick Rubin, and the medicine of music.

Marcus King has already been through the wringer, but he’s on the come-up. His hotly anticipated third LP, Mood Swings, drops this Friday, April 5, and on this episode of Wong Notes, the earnest, honest 28-year old South Carolinian goes deep on his career with Cory Wong.

The two shredders open by swapping notes on how touring has changed post-pandemic. Costs are way up, but they’re managing to make it work. King reveals to Wong that on his upcoming tour, he’s wrangled a few sizeable, must-have creature comforts into the trailers—tune in to find out what King brings on the road.

King walks us through his custom amp and cabinet setups, detailing why he prefers 10" speakers to 12", how he became friends with Orange Amplifiers founder Cliff Cooper, and the family history that led to his signature Gibson Marcus King 1962 ES-345, complete with sideways vibrola.

He and Wong get down to the nitty-gritty, too. Marcus talks about pressure to conform to certain genre communities, his struggles with self-medicating, and how sometimes, music feels like the only medicine we’ve got on hand.