How does a guy from North Jersey get into The Marshall Tucker Band? Southern Rock was a no brainer for me, as the Allman Brothers and Lynyrd Skynyrd received a lot of radio play on my FM dial back in NJ. But other than a few of the hits, Marshall Tucker was not as easy to get to. Odd since they are considered one of the bands who started the genre.
The band formed in 1972 in South Carolina, and included lead guitarist, vocalist and main songwriter Toy Caldwell (he died in 1993), keyboard player and vocalist Doug Gray, flutist Jerry Eubanks, rhythm guitarist George McCorkle (he died in 2007), drummer Paul Riddle and bassist Tommy Caldwell (who died in a car accident in 1980).
They still play, but Doug Gray is the only original member left… Unfortunately death took three of them pretty damn early… especially Tommy who was only 30!
The great Charlie Daniels often jammed with them and played on a few of their albums, including their second one from 1974, A New Life. He also shows up, along with the amazing Elvin Bishop on Where We Belong, their third album (a double platter) that was also put out in 1974. Needless to say the ’70s were their most productive and successful period. They had five gold and two platinum records from that period! Not bad.
The Marshall Tucker Band – Greatest Hits
This 1978 collection/incarnation was one that went platinum and is a great way to get into the band.
“In My Own Way” is a really lovely song with a great harmonica part that reminds me of some Jimmy Buffet tunes…
Of course I love “Ramblin'” and my three favorites: “Heard It In A Love Song”, “Searchin’ For A Rainbow” and the desert island track “Can’t You See”. That one has played very loudly after a few break ups for me… and is also a great one for when the top is down, the music is loud and the car is rollin’ down a highway… any highway.
So if you’re in mood for some good Southern whiskey or bourbon and some great Southern Rock, pull this one off your shelf (You know it’s there) and give “This Ol’ Cowboy” a try…
And check the bonus post to see what that woman is doing to me…