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Return of the King

King Radio
King Radio

After five years in Brooklyn, Eugene-born musician Justin King has come home. “All my oldest friends and family are here,” King explains.

“It’s really where my roots are,” he continues. “Brooklyn was getting even more overrun and expensive and crazier and crazier. I wanted to come back and focus on my own music.”

Since being back in town, King’s band King Radio has released a four-song EP, Adaline, available now on SoundCloud. 

King Radio is also about to embark on a Northwest tour with L.A. band The Walcotts. King’s drummer also moved from New York to the Eugene area, and the band’s lineup is filled out with locally sourced musicians, whether that’s around here or in King’s frequent trips to play back East.

King calls King Radio’s sound “country-soul or Pan-American music. I think it draws a lot of influence from Motown and Muscle Shoals but also some Nashville and Austin.” 

That sensuously gritty Nashville soul sound shows up in the horn arrangements from the Adaline EP-track of the same name. King’s vulnerable falsetto is smooth and crackling at all the right moments over a lazy, bluesy backbeat.

“It’s a mix of influences, but they’re all pretty rooted in American tradition,” King says.

So how is he settling in now that he’s back in Eugene? “It’s really exciting to see Eugene growing up,” King says, noting “the younger generation starting to exert its influence.” 

He continues: “It really kind of puts it into focus how lucky we are to live in this part of the Willamette Valley.”

King Radio plays with The Walcotts 10 pm Thursday, Sept. 15, at Hi-Fi Lounge; $5, 21-plus.