Start with members of three of the top bands to come out of New Orleans, The Neville Brothers, The Radiators, and The Dirty Dozen – then add a saxophonist who was James Brown’s horn director for 12 years, and a keyboard player with extraordinary talent, and you have The New Orleans Suspects. With well over a century of touring experience combined, this is a real band with genuine musicianship and more seasoning than any of New Orleans’ greatest dishes. They have been making an enormous impact with their live performances across the country, and have established themselves as one of the brightest new lights out of the Crescent City. Funky drumbeats, greasy wailing saxophones, razor-sharp guitar playing, rollicking piano and swampy organ swells, strutting bass lines and tight vocal harmonies make this band stand above the rest. Just as the wind shifts over the Mississippi River, so does the music the band creates – strains of Dr John and the Nevilles, The Meters and Allan Toussaint, brass bands and piano legends, hot nights and sweat-soaked streets, all combine in an original way to create what is now known as The New Orleans Suspects.
Trumpeter and vocalist, Jennifer Hartswick is one of the most exciting performers in music today. She exudes confidence and joy and brings her own refreshing spirit to the stage every time she performs. Jennifer’s music is honest, soulful and comes with a maturity far beyond her years.
Hartswick is an original member of the Trey Anastasio Band and has recorded/shared the stage with Herbie Hancock, Phish, Christian McBride, Tom Petty, Aaron Neville, Carlos Santana, The Rolling Stones, Big Gigantic, Dave Matthews and countless others.
Jennifer’s live performances are renowned as spontaneous, joyful and contagious. Her natural charisma and sincerity shines through, and each performance is a celebration of musical collaboration. And whether she is wailing on the trumpet or singing an intimate vocal solo, her performance is all part of a single seamless instrument, one that is played not only with astounding technical proficiency, but also with sensitivity, conviction and heart.
King is a Blue Ridge Mountain boy, born and raised in Greenville, South Carolina. A fourth-generation musician, he traces his lineage back to his fiddle-playing great grandfather, while his grandfather was a fiddler and guitarist. His dad is Marvin King, is a singer/guitarist who has toured nationally since the ‘70’s with various artists as well as his own group, Marvin King and Blue Revival.
There’s a deeply felt sense of familial responsibility. “I guess to some degree it does feel like I’m carrying a torch and trying to rekindle some of that flame and that energy that my grandfather had and my father also has. My father is still my favorite guitar player and my biggest influence, but also my biggest supporter. So, more than anything, I’m trying to make him proud.” It’s fitting that his primary guitar on the album is a ’62 Gibson 345 that belonged to his granddad. “My grandfather’s light shined so bright through his eyes; he was just so happy to play,” Marcus recalls.
Marcus King doesn’t strive for authenticity, he never had to—it’s busting out of his DNA in every note he plays and every word he sings. This focused, firmly rooted artist isn’t just perpetuating the proud legacy of American rock and soul music; with the musically enthralling, deeply personal, Carolina Confessions, he and his great band are adding their own eloquent chapter to that rich narrative.