On Tuesday night, the young and talented Marcus King led his troupe onstage at the mythical Stone Pony in Asbury Park, New Jersey to shred out a southern-infused mélange of flavor, soul, and originality. His six-piece band, The Marcus King Band, headlined behind the captivating opening act known as Ida Mae. The two-person group comprised of Chris Turpin and Stephanie Jean blended harmoniously, wielding scorching blues riffs and matching long, blonde hair to make for a powerful opening performance.

However, the sold-out crowd packed the venue to see Marcus King, the young man endorsed early on by legendary guitarist Warren Haynes, and who also traded guitar licks with some of the best in the biz. Widespread Panic picked him as an honored guest at last year’s Panic En La Playa getaway, and those in attendance were blown away by his lagoon set as well as his sit-in with the nefarious kings of jam band rock and roll. King comes from a long lineage of talented musicians in the Blue Ridge Mountains and seems destined to take his place in the pantheon of rock royalty.

As always, Marcus was accompanied by drummer Jack Ryan, bass player Stephen Campbell, trumpeter/trombonist Justin Johnson, sax player Dean Mitchell, and keyboardist DeShawn “D-Vibes” Alexander. At two different points in the evening, guests Danny Clinch on harp and Joe Stuby on guitar joined in, to the exalted incredulity of the audience. A nationally recognized local hero, Clinch recently co-founded the inaugural Sea.Hear.Now Festival in Asbury Park, which was received with colossal levels of success and recognition in its first year.

The high-voltage band cut through a version of “Virginia” (co-written by Haynes) from the band’s self-titled sophomore LP before segueing into “8 A.M.” from their latest album, Carolina Confessions. Marcus led the band through two tracks off his debut LP, Soul Insight, with “Fraudulent Waffle” and “Opie” before another smokin’ transition weaved into a cover of Neil Young‘s “Ohio”. Neil Young’s birthday was on Monday, November 12th, and The Marcus King Band aced the celebratory tribute.

Returning to his nascent Carolina Confessions, Marcus and his energized band performed “Autumn Rains” before rockin’ the transitory anthem “Keep Moving” off Soul Insight. Pushing their month-old album, The Marcus King Band surrounded two more Carolina Confessions tracks—“Side Door” and forlorn traveler’s anthem “Homesick”, around a blazin’ bass solo from “Thespian Espionage” off their 2016 self-titled release. One last jam from Soul Insight, “Always”, descended into an extended percussive beatdown led by Jack Ryan.

The rest of the evening was devoted to Carolina Confessions. King’s most recent album possesses heartfelt themes of leaving his hometown and the contradictory nature of values from traditional Southern Conservatism and the unconditional love taught in Christianity. “Goodbye Carolina” preceded “Confessions” to end the lengthy, uninterrupted set. Returning for an encore, Marcus King introduced the band to the instrumental vibe of Gene McDaniels‘ jam, “Compared to What?” (later popularized by Roberta Flack, then Les McCann and Ed Harris, then Ray Charles, and countless other artists since). To appropriately conclude the evening of youthfully determined music, the six-piece powerhouse performed the closing track from Carolina Confessions, “Welcome Round Here.”

The twenty-two-year-old musician performed with a professionalism well beyond his years. Marcus King donned a brown traveller’s hat with a few feathers protruding from the side. It was soon clear to all in attendance that he has earned the feathers with the skill and presence of a much older soul. Even his grandfather’s guitar that he plays is evidence of the old-time tone and feeling that Marcus King embodied.

The Marcus King Band’s tour rolls onward to the Theatre of Living Arts in Philadelphia, PA on Thursday, November 15th before heading to Irving Plaza in New York, New York on Friday, November 16th. Later this year, Marcus will return to New York for a New Year’s Eve run with As the Crow Flies at The Capitol Theatre in Port Chester. For a full list of upcoming tour dates, head here.