El Dorado (2020)

On his latest album, the young guitarist hired the services of three professional composers and recorded at the famous Nashville studio Easy Eye Sound. It is surprising that Marcus King was not more involved in musical creation but the result is up to scratch and there is no shortage of good songs. The country-soul ballad "Young man’s dream" is wrapped in a beautiful pedal steel guitar. Marcus then offers a fast and sticky blues on a rock rhythm with an effective solo ("The well") and a slow gorged with soul with a bluesy solo ("Wild flowers and wine"). "One day she’s here" sounds very funky and seventies, probably because of the string arrangements. The 70s still show through two titles: "Sweet Mariona" (a melodic and melancholic ballad with an aerial pedal steel) and "Beautiful stranger" (a languid slow tinged with soul). Do not forget “Too much whiskey” (a country song syncopated in the Waylon Jennings' style which recalls at times the “Trudy” of Charlie Daniels) and “No pain” (a trippy slow with a guitar overflowing with feeling). This disc therefore diffuses a good atmosphere with seventies accents (the many arrangements of strings have their share of responsibility) interspersed with delicate interventions by Marcus who still seems a bit stingy with his guitar. Of course, the shadow of Warren Haynes did not hang over this "El Dorado". Marcus may want to free himself from his master and also ... from himself, the early Marcus King. In the meantime, the pleasure that this achievement provides is undeniable.

Olivier Aubry


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