Marshall Tucker Band at the Fox Theatre, 5 things to know – The Morning Sun
As the song says, the South was already starting over when the Marshall Tucker Band left South Carolina 50 years ago.
The success of the Allman Brothers Band had paved the way for a body of Southern rock bands, with Marshall Tucker, formed in 1972, joined by Lynyrd Skynyrd, the Charlie Daniels Band, the Atlanta Rhythm Section, ZZ Top and Black Oak Arkansas, with more – Molly Hatchett, Wet Willie, Blackfoot and others – coming down the pike. The grass was green and the tides were high as the outlaws sang.
Marshall Tucker established himself at the pinnacle of the subgenre early on, with his 1973 hit “Can’t You See” and his gold-certified debut album. Almost five decades later, it’s a classic, a status shared by other tracks such as “Take the Highway”, “Fire on the Mountain” and the band’s only Top 20 entry, “Heard It In a Love Song”. The band has suffered the deaths of founding members Toy and Tommy Caldwell and George McCorckle, but vocalist Doug Gray remains on board, guiding Marshall Tucker through the “Long Hard Ride” that began so long ago…
* Gray, 73, says by phone from Myrtle Beach that Marshall Tucker’s 50th birthday “just passed. It’s as if it all started yesterday, as if I had just returned from Vietnam. We never could have imagined it would last this long, especially after losing Tommy and then Toy. But we always knew that Toy had great songs and meaningful songs. People love music and want to hear it, so I keep going. »
* The band’s durability, says Gray, depends on its songs. “I feel like the songs belong to the audience. They’re songs that relate, things that relate to them, feelings that they have. It doesn’t matter who sings them, even. They matter just as much today.” today than when we wrote and recorded them. We didn’t really think of them that way at the time, but that’s why they’re still around.
* This year also marks the 45th anniversary of “California Dreams,” Marshall Tucker’s sixth album and only platinum seller. Recorded at Capricorn Studios in Macon, Georgia, the seven-song set included “Heard It in a Love Song” and featured guest appearances by Charlie Daniels and Chuck Leavell and Jai Johanny Johnanson of the Allman Brothers Band. “It was one of those albums that was (recorded) live. We rehearsed it for probably two days and left an audience on the second day, which made it more exciting for us. Compare Put it to Music Today and I’d say it’s still in the Top 10.”
* Gray says Marshall Tucker’s current lineup has “a bunch of new stuff” written, estimating “there’s probably about 40 songs” waiting to be recorded. But, he adds, “we really don’t have time to all go (into the studio) because of all the touring we do. And we couldn’t get in during the Covid period; Basically didn’t do anything, the rest of the guys at different times had Covid. Now that we can play again, we can start thinking about what to do and maybe go in and do a recording.
* The singer adds that he is particularly satisfied with the current edition of the sextet, which he qualifies as one of the most coherent in the history of Marshall Tucker. “This group does not argue. We never have an argument. I’ve never seen a bunch of guys who are like old army buddies. The whole band and crew is like, ‘Golly, let’s have a beer’ or a drink or something. That’s what we know how to do. We’re like road brothers, you know? »
The Marshall Tucker Band and Dave Mason perform at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, February 10 at the Fox Theater, 2211 Woodward Ave., Detroit. $25 and up. 313-471-7000 or 313Presents.com.