Marcus King today revealed “The Well,” the first single from his genre-bending debut solo record El Dorado produced by Grammy Award winner Dan Auerbach (The Black Keys) to be released on Jan. 17, 2020 on Fantasy Records.
Already a 23-year-old guitar phenomenon, El Dorado will further establish King as an innovative songwriter and one of the most soulful voices of his generation as the artist teamed up with Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys to co-write the project’s 12 songs, which were then recorded and produced by Auerbach at his Easy Eye Sound studio. The two previously collaborated on “How Long” from King’s 2018 effort Carolina Confessions, with El Dorado acting as more of a contemporary sonic exploration of classic rock, blues, southern R&B and country-soul where subtle acoustics and pedal steel shines bright alongside raucous electric guitars and blistering solos.
On working with King, Auerbach said, “Marcus is known by so many as a phenom guitar player, and rightfully so. He’s regularly the best player in the room, hands down. I was equally blown away by the way he can sing – so effortless, so soulful, straight from the heart. He’s a naturally gifted writer too, which was clear right away. Everything for him is so innate – that’s why he can always go right to the heart of a song and connect in a deeper way. He’s really one of a kind and I’m proud I got to work alongside him on this record.”
“The Well” is a fuzzy, electric-blues masterpiece which rumbles down the highway like Marcus’ jet black El Dorado featuring lyrics reflecting on hard work and hard times.
“When you have a $70 check go bad, you know times are tough,” King recalled, adding, “The Well for me symbolizes the source of all my influences. It is everything that has happened to me to make me the man I am today.”
Playing professionally since he was eleven years old, King is a fourth-generation musician who followed his family’s footsteps. His grandfather was a country guitarist, and his father continues to perform live. His pursuit of music often made him feel like an outsider but equally provided comfort, especially when he was thirteen and lost a friend during a tragic car crash.
“She was the first girl I had feelings for, that was a really heavy moment, and writing songs was my expression,” King said. “I also had undiagnosed bipolar disorder and my appearance and interests were not embraced by my educators and their pupils. They were good folks but it kind of felt like being in prison and all I really needed to learn was music.”
King has already been performing live for fifteen years and has established himself as an enthralling world class live music talent. He has appeared on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert, made his debut at The Grand Ole Opry and has performed with Chris Stapleton on a recent U.S. arena tour, Crossroads Guitar Festival and at sold out headline shows including his namesake festival – The Marcus King Band Family Reunion.
El Dorado was written and recorded at Auerbach’s Nashville studio, Easy Eye Sound, with legendary writers including Paul Overstreet, Ronnie Bowman and Pat McLaughlin. Auerbach also enlisted revered studio musicians including, drummer Gene Chrisman and keyboard player Bobby Wood. Their renowned work as members of the American Sound Studio band included Dusty Springfield’s “Son of a Preacher Man,” Elvis Presley’s, “Suspicious Minds,” and hits by Bobby Womack, Joe Tex and many others. Marcus King’s debut solo album El Dorado will be released on his label Fantasy Records in association with Dan Auerbach’s Easy Eye Sound.
Despite not joining King in the studio on El Dorado his signature backing band comprised of drummer Jack Ryan, bassist Stephen Campbell, trumpeter/trombonist Justin Johnson and sax/steel guitarist Dean Mitchell will be along with the artist on a stretch of tour dates in support of the album beginning Halloween night in Kansas City and running into December with nearby stops in Cincinnati on Nov. 14 at Bogarts and Louisville on Nov. 16 at the Mercury Ballroom. See a full tour itinerary at MarcusKingBand.com.
El Dorado track list/credits
- “Young Man’s Dream” (Marcus King, Dan Auerbach, Pat McLaughlin)
- “The Well” (King, Auerbach, Ronnie Bowman)
- “Wildflowers & Wine” (King, Auerbach, Bowman)
- “One Day She’s Here” (King, Auerbach, McLaughlin)
- “Sweet Mariona” (King, Auerbach, Bowman)
- “Beautiful Stranger” (King, Auerbach, Paul Overstreet)
- “Break” (King, Auerbach, McLaughlin)
- “Say You Will” (King, Auerbach, Bowman)
- “Turn It Up” (King, Auerbach, Overstreet)
- “Too Much Whiskey” (King, Auerbach, Overstreet)
- “Love Song” (King, Auerbach, Bobby Wood)
- “No Pain” (King, Auerbach, McLaughlin)
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