Deebs Days Countdown: An Interview with Marcus White of The Shady Recruits August 3, 2022 14:18

Photo by Donna Winchester

Interview by Jordan Kirkland: Live & Listen

As most music fans in and around the Birmingham area are already aware, CBDB and Big Friendly Productions have joined forces to bring an incredible new festival to Avondale Brewing Company this summer. Deebs Days Music Festival is pinned for Friday, August 19th and Saturday, August 20th in Birmingham (AL), and all signs point to an incredible celebration. If you haven't gotten around to purchasing your weekend passes, we've got you covered. Simply click the link below and secure your spot while you still can. 
As we prepare for the festival, we're catching up with a handful of the performers on the lineup. This week, we're continuing the official "Deebs Days Countdown" with Marcus White, keyboard + synth wizard for The Shady Recruits. Marcus has an extensive history touring with bands such as Soul MechanicVoodoo Visionary, and KillaKeyz Band. This latest project features multiple members of The Marcus King Band and has quickly become a favorite amongst festivals across the country. 
You'll find The Shady Recruits performing at Avondale Brewing Company for Deebs Days in just over two weeks, and they certainly seem ready to leave their mark on Birmingham. Check out the full interview with Marcus below, and make sure to follow The Talismen on Facebook and Instagram for all of the latest updates.

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Great to speak with you for a few today, Marcus. We're here to talk about The Shady Recruits, but I know you've had quite the journey up to this point. Tell me about how you got started as a musician? 

Marcus: I started playing drums at church when I was nine. Then, around age twelve, I started playing guitar and keys too. This was still at church. My mom was playing piano at the time, and I thought I could do a better job. She said to give it a try, so I did. 

That's great man. And how did this ultimately lead you to your band mates in The Shady Recruits?

Marcus: I just kept playing and ended up winning a scholarship to a small school in Cleveland, TN. From there, I went on tour with a gospel group called EJM. When that was over, I moved back to Chattanooga and linked up with an up-and-coming band called Soul Mechanic.

This promoter in North Carolina named Ryan Williams, who we did gigs with previously, wanted us to do this show for him. We did that one and ended up getting a call to open up for The Marcus King Band. We became really good friends and the rest is history.

This seems is a super group, in a sense. Everyone involved has quite a few projects to balance, including multiple guys on tour with Marcus King Band. How do you go about scheduling for this band? How has the calendar shaped up so far this year? 

Marcus: Honestly, I have no idea. We really try to stick to planning out months in advance, communication, and being respectful of each others time. Like you said, half of the band is also on the road with Marcus King, so we have to plan accordingly. 

Just a few weeks ago, the Recruits released their first full-length album, Incognito. This follows your five-song EP, Shady, which released in March of 2020. Tell me about Incognito and how things have progressed since the first release  

Marcus: We are on tour right now. We had a great time at Peach Fest. The new album was produced by our good friend Marcus King. That has been huge in terms of building the audience. Super proud of the work we did on the album.

The Shady Recruits have grown accustomed to playing the major festival stages. One of the next up is Avondale Brewing Co. in Birmingham for CBDB's Deebs Days. Will this be the band's first play in Birmingham? What can those attending expect from you guys?

Marcus: Yeah man, this will be the band's first time in Birmingham, but certainly not my first. People can expect a lot of fun. It's gonna be a breath of fresh air. I think we bring something different and unique to this line up. We're known for having a lot of fun, and while we take each show very seriously, we don't take ourselves too seriously. 

Beyond this summer, how is the final quarter of 2022 looking for the band? What are you guys looking ahead to? Where is the focus as you guys look to the future?  

Marcus: The future is bright man. We're gonna start working on the next album. We're booking more gigs and traveling to new markets that we haven't played. Just trying to grow and keep this train moving.

Right on. Love to hear it. Thanks so much for your time today, Marcus. Look forward to seeing you in Birmingham in a few weeks.

Marcus: Can't wait man. Thank you!