marquise knox

marquise knox


There are spirits from blues history that have guided this young musician and he promises to keep the tradition moving forward.


He may be young, but there was never any doubt in Marquise Knox's mind that the blues are for life.

To get his education in blues, Marquise (born in St. Louis in 1992) looked above and beyond the last 40 years of blues-rock guitar, searching for a generation when blues was underground, itinerant, acoustic. He wanted another time, not just to pass through it but to live there. And so his teachers became people like Henry Townsend, a much-loved and admired patriarch of St. Louis blues who died in 2006 at the age of 96. Henry noticed the young man's prowess for guitar and a blues lyric, clearly the budding results of serious watchfulness. Even though the kids Marquise's age listen to hip hop and watch certain pop music singing competitions on TV, here was an old soul who brought to mind Lightnin' Hopkins.

Henry, who gigged until the very end, took Marquise on the road a couple of times and introduced him around. Thus it happened that, in the twilight of their careers, when they didn't owe anything to anyone and could expect to be greeted with standing-o's for brief, rote performances, Townsend, Honeyboy Edwards and Robert Lockwood gave Marquise valuable stage time alongside them.

A heaping helping of what these old men of the blues found in Marquise Knox can be heard in this remarkably self-assured young artist showing respect for the tradition that shaped his music and, arrestingly, an uncannily wide absorption of the blues vocabulary. There is an ageless delight in the kind of music he's playing. There isn't a line that Marquise can't pull off looking you straight in the eye, making you believe that the singer is in the thrall of these blues and he's got to let it all go.

At a time when the blues art form seems fixed and exhausted and the last of the originators are shuffling off the mortal coil, along comes Marquise Knox.


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