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The Marshall Tucker Band

The Marshall Tucker Band

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Album Review

The remastering of the Marshall Tucker Band's classic debut album is indeed cause for celebration. Like the Allman Brothers Band, Marshall Tucker blended elements from all over the Americana map into their trademark sound, which was anchored in the guitaristry and writing talents of Toy Caldwell, and the reed and woodwind playing of Jerry Eubanks. With help from Tom Caldwell and Jerry Eubanks on percussion, and Paul Hornsby on piano and keyboards, the Tuckers set down eight Caldwell tunes that shot country straight through with touches of Appalachian folk music, jazz, blues, and roots rock. The effect is transcendent on cuts such as "Take the Highway," and Caldwell's signature tune, "Can't You See." With its biting guitar lines woven around a chunky, honky tonk piano line, and his mournful vocal that comes straight from Albert King, added to a short flute break, it is an anthem to heartbreak and flight. "Take the Highway" is a proto- jam band anthem with its dreamy twinned leads and loping bassline. Widespread Panic owes a great debt to this album, one that they have yet to acknowledge. After 30 years this album sounds as crisp and elemental as it did on its arrival. The remaster is warm, full, and round in its sonic palette, and the bonus track, a live read of "Everyday (I Have the Blues)," is a Caldwell scorcher. Southern rock got its mantle for excess from Lynyrd Skynyrd, Molly Hatchet, and the Outlaws, with their respective brands of loud and proud redneck rock — the Allmans were an entity unto themselves. But if the South had a band with an expansive view of American music and how it played into improvisation a lá the Grateful Dead, it was most certainly the Marshall Tucker Band, and this album is a testament to that.

Biography

Formed: 1971 in Spartanburg, SC

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

One of the major Southern rock bands of the '70s, the Marshall Tucker Band combined rock, country, and jazz, and featured extended instrumental passages on which lead guitarist Toy Caldwell shone. The band was formed in Spartanburg, SC, in 1971 by singer Doug Gray, guitarist Caldwell (born 1948, died February 25, 1993), his brother bassist Tommy Caldwell (born 1950, died April 4, 1980), guitarist George McCorkle, drummer Paul Riddle, and reed player Jerry Eubanks. The six-piece group was signed to...
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The Marshall Tucker Band, The Marshall Tucker Band
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