Recently hailed by two-time Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee David Crosby as "one of the best young singer-songwriters in America - maybe even the world", MARCUS EATON is receiving international acclaim through his music which has redefined the acoustic rock genre.
Through impassioned, intelligent lyrics, complex yet accessible and memorable melody and a virtuoso guitar technique that immediately brings to mind Pat Metheny and Michael Hedges, Marcus is emerging as one of the leading lights in the new generation of American singer-songwriters.
Brought up in the wilds of Idaho, the son of songwriter Steve Eaton and grandson of professional opera singers, Marcus grew up immersed in music. He began performing professionally in bars and clubs long before he was legally old enough to patronise them and at the age of just 21, following two independently released albums, he and his band The Lobby caught the attention of MCA/Universal and recorded The Day the World Awoke (2003), reviewed as ‘one of the best examples of intelligent acoustic rock in a long time’.
However, it was as a solo performer that Marcus drew critical attention and developing guitar styles incorporating flamenco to rumba, jazz-funk to reggae, he simultaneously began to accumulate a burgeoning fanbase.
Marcus released his first solo studio album Story of Now (2006) which critics described as ‘emotional, engaging & complex'. Venturing deeper into alternative-rock territory, the album showcased a maturity of both lyric and compositional style that belied his years. From the salsa-fied, rhythmic drum and guitar loops of 'Standing Still', via the political and social criticism of 'Story of Now', to the acoustic narrative of the plaintive 'Four Seasons Turn To Rain' , the album delivered the fruits of 3 years on the road where Marcus honed his craft with the likes of Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds.
As If You Had Wings (2010), Marcus' second release of wholly original material (in all senses of the phrase) was described as 'following the blueprints left by Cream, Rush and The Police' in which he had 'developed into a dazzling guitarist'. Here, Marcus' skills are on full display, but it's not simply a matter of fretwork fireworks - the music is tight but loose, intense yet cool, passionate but controlled. There is love, there is loss, there is excitement, there is wonder. The 'difficult second album' very nearly didn't see the light of day at all following the master-tapes being taken hostage, but a subsequent ransom payment to secure their release and re-mixing sessions under the calming direction of Mario McNulty (David Bowie, Nine Inch Nails, Philip Glass) produced a work of finesse and cool that belied its occasional frenetic gestation. From the album's opening track, 'Life In Reverse' to the denouement of 'You Can't Close Your Eyes' , there are 10 songs almost entirely different in style yet united in direction and purpose. Eaton sings : "How can I articulate what is impossible to describe?" Sometimes, it's better just to listen.
In 2011, Marcus was invited by David Crosby and his son James Raymond to play guitar on tunes that were the foundations of 'Croz' which would become, in 2014, Crosby’s first solo album in over twenty years. Throughout a near two-year recording process, a kindred musical collaboration evolved between Marcus, Raymond and Crosby with Marcus not only featuring prominently as a guitarist along with an ensemble of legendary Crosby band mates, but also co-writing a number of songs and singing harmonies with arguably one of the best harmonizers in rock music.
In early 2014, Marcus joined Crosby’s band for a sold-out US tour that included stops at legendary institutions such as The Troubadour and San Francisco's Great American Music Hall as well as an appearance on TV's Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. When asked about working with Marcus, Crosby said, “He's a really brilliant writer. Brilliant musically. Brilliant lyrically. And he just plays guitar like God on a good day."
In addition to performing solo, with The Lobby and the Trio, Marcus' extensive touring history includes opening shows for Bob Dylan and Dave Matthews, Nils Lofgren, Dr John and Rodrigo Y Gabriela.
In late summer this year, Marcus finished a brand-new solo album, Versions of The Truth. To coincide with its European release he completed a tremendously successful tour of Italy, with concerts in Rome, Milan, Genoa and many other towns and cities across the country. Both audiences and media alike made an immediate connection with Marcus and his music. The tour was punctuated by a seemingly non-stop round of national tv and radio appearances as word quickly spread about a young LA musician with an intelligent, innovative songbook filling clubs, theatres and halls with a dynamic, innovative sound. Whether playing to die-hard fans in a 13th century Genovese church or in a modern club in industrial Milan to an audience unfamiliar with his work, there was consensus - we are hearing beautiful, ground-breaking music, played by a master of his craft.
Marcus is preparing Versions of The Truth for release in the United States in early 2016 and a tour to support its release is currently being planned.
As well as continuing his collaboration with David Crosby who sings on a number of the album's tracks, Marcus is also joined on the record by other major players on the American West Coast scene such as bassist Lee Sklar, composer James Raymond and drummer Erik Eldenius.
Versions of The Truth perfectly showcases Marcus' matured portfolio of skills - 13 terrific, unforgettable new songs feature dazzling acoustic and electric guitar, fascinating rhythms, grown-up, intelligent lyrics and an original singing voice.The record is the result of a career's practice, tradecraft and experience - an experience you can join in with early next year when Versions of The Truth is finally released in America. Stay tuned!