By Vicki Wood
Just a small town boy from St. Joseph, MO Marcus Words burst on the lake music scene ten years ago and hasn't looked back. Words has over 180 shows booked this year as a solo act. He might be the hardest working artist in the area. He plays acoustic guitar and sings a mix of 90s, alternative, folk, funk, blues, outlaw country, and the greatest rendition of Folsom Prison Blues by Johnny Cash around. He is joined by one of the best fiddles in the business played by Mike Clayton Sr. from Bolivar, MO. Clayton’s fiddle is haunting and resonating.
When Marcus performs as a solo artist, he plays and sings cover songs, but not what one would expect - he makes them his own. Words has a certain staccato to his singing, and his voice range beautifully lights up a version of Unanswered Prayers by Garth Brooks with that high-low lilt making it sound as if he had written it himself. Marcus describes how he feels about cover songs on his YouTube Music channel, “I don't think the original artists would want to hear me play their songs exactly how they played it. I assume they would want to experience their artwork through a different medium.”
Marcus began performing at 10 years old with the school band. In the 5th grade, he started playing bassoon. With the early musical influences of Dave Matthews Band, Counting Crows and Garth Brooks, the variety of style shows when he takes the stage. Words also added “My early influences will always be my cornerstones of creation but it's only natural for your influences to change over time. I was probably about 23 years old by the time I was playing and singing. There was a time where I didn't think I could actually sing at all.” The thought is mind blowing considering Words’ level of talent, his transcending voice, and level of energy which will keep you glued to your seat, or up dancing.
Where did all of Words’ talent come from? Early on he was devoted to the band program in high school, and even into his college years with a full ride scholarship to Missouri Western University in St. Joseph. He played multiple instruments every year throughout Middle and High school and college. However, Marcus did not become a band director or music teacher - instead - He did some Student Teaching. After college, Words went into the finance industry as a training director, before one day packing a duffel bag and heading to Florida with a one-way plane ticket pursuing his dream of becoming a performance musician. It's not unusual for a performance to take him out of state - He'll play ANYWHERE. An artist as talented as Marcus stays in high demand all year round.