Marcus King announces new album, Young Blood, shares swaggering lead single, Hard Working Man

Marcus King
(Image credit: Danielle Del Valle/Getty Images)

Blues guitar master Marcus King has announced his second solo album, Young Blood.

Like his previous solo effort – 2020's El Dorado – the record was produced by fellow bluesman and The Black Keys leader Dan Auerbach, who revealed in a statement that every song was recorded live, something that's “rare in this day and age."

“Music runs so deep in Marcus's blood he might not even realize how born to do this he is,” Auerbach says. “He's the real deal. Marcus has Southern soul as part of his foundation. If you're going to play rock 'n' roll with Marcus, you have to understand that element. It's just who he is. These songs are live performances. The whole damn thing is live – the solos and everything.”

Kicking off proceedings, the 26-year-old blues wizard has shared the album's first single, the swaggering and anthemic Hard Working Man. Crunchy palm-muted chugs sit underneath King's perfectly blues-tailored vocal lines, before he lets rip with a suitably show-stopping solo from the 1:54 mark. Check it out below.

“We tour almost 200 days of the year, and even when I'm home, I'm doing something,” King explains. “Working hard is just the way I was raised. It would make my grandfather proud to know I'm a hard-working man and I've worked for everything I have. It's an anthem for the people. You've got the folks who work all week and spend their hard-earned money just to come see us. It's a real blessing.”

Thematically, Young Blood is about “looking at tough times in your rear-view mirror," as King explains.

“I was going through a lot during the album with addictions, breakups and addictions because of breakups,” he recalls. “I was overindulging in everything. It's not a big secret to my friends. I was in a real rough place for a while. I was trying to process the death of family members and I was on the wrong medications.”

King – with Auerbach – sought to create an album that sought to harness the sounds of the classic blues-rock power trios of the '60s and '70s.

Recorded at Auerbach's Easy Eye Sound in Nashville, Tennessee, Young Blood features Chris St. Hilaire on drums and Nick Movshon on bass. Its songs were written by both King and Auerbach in collaboration with Desmond Child and Angelo Petraglia – known for their work with Aerosmith and Kings of Leon, respectively.

Young Blood arrives August 26 via Rick Rubin's American/Republic. You can preview its track list below, and preorder it here.

Marcus King

(Image credit: American Recordings/Republic/Spinefarm)
  1. It’s Too Late
  2. Lie Lie Lie
  3. Rescue Me
  4. Pain
  5. Good and Gone
  6. Blood On The Tracks
  7. Hard Working Man
  8. Aim High
  9. Dark Cloud
  10. Whisper
  11. Blues Worse Than I Ever Had

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Sam Roche

Sam was Staff Writer at from 2019 to 2023, and also created content for Total Guitar, Guitarist and Guitar Player. He has well over 15 years of guitar playing under his belt, as well as a degree in Music Technology (Mixing and Mastering). He's a metalhead through and through, but has a thorough appreciation for all genres of music. In his spare time, Sam creates point-of-view guitar lesson videos on YouTube under the name Sightline Guitar.