From their first LP in 1973, to their powerful stage presence today, the Marshall Tucker Band has played countless concert venues around the world. With the success of the Volunteer Jam Tour, and 1999 release of Gospel, the good ol’ boys from Spartanburg, South Carolina remain as a powerful force in the world of music.
The Marshall Tucker Band present lineup features Doug Gray on lead vocals; Pat Elwood, bass guitar; Chris Hicks, guitars; Stuart Swanlund, slide guitar; B.B. Borden on drums, and David Muse on keyboards, saxophone, flute and vocals. David has rejoined the Marshall Tucker Band after a 3 year absence. David originally joined MTB in 1996. As a founding member of Firefall, David took sometime away from MTB to reunite with his bandmates.
Lead singer, Doug Gray, is quick to credit the band’s current dynamic members with carrying on the everlasting Marshall Tucker Band sound. In 1989, slide guitarist Stuart Swanlund joined the lineup of talented musicians. They also added the highly respected B.B. Borden, who is a former member of both Mother’s Finest and The Outlaws, on drums in the early 90’s.
“The buying public never really cared whether we were country or rock and roll” says founding member Doug Gray. “They called us a Southern rock band, but we have always played everything from country to blues and all things in-between. We’re still playing all of the classic songs, but we are moving ahead into other styles as well. We’re also playing for a younger audience than we have in the past, perhaps to the kids of the fans we played in front of in the 70’s and 80’s.”
Gray also notes that people have gotten “married and buried” to classic MTB songs like “Desert Skies” and “Can’t You See”. After nearly 30 years, The Marshall Tucker Band continues to be played on classic rock and country radio, and they have never stopped touring.
“We never play less than 150 shows a year, and sometimes we play as many as 200 shows. We feel we owe it to the fans who have supported us through the years to deliver the music in person,” says Gray.
Years of rigorous tour schedules earned the band the respect of critics and countless dedicated fans. With hit singles like “Heard It In a Love Song”, “Fire On The Mountain”, “Can’t You See”, and “Take The Highway”, The Marshall Tucker Band earned 7 gold and 3 platinum albums while they were on the Capricorn Records label. During the 90s, the MTB scored 4 hit singles on Billboard’s country chart and one on Billboard’s gospel chart. Their music has also been featured on the soundtracks of movies such as Smokey and the Bandit, The Pursuit of D.B. Cooper, and Shipwrecked.
The Marshall Tucker Band got its start in Spartanburg, S.C. when Gray teamed up with Tommy Caldwell and Toy Caldwell, Paul T. Riddle, George McCorkle and Jerry Eubanks, borrowing the name “Marshall Tucker” from a piano tuner who’s name was found on a key ring in their old rehearsal space. In 1972, they signed with Capricorn Records, the same label that guided The Allman Brothers Band, Wet Willie, and others to national fame. The MTB opened shows for The Allman Brothers in 1973, and the following year, they began to headline their own shows across America due to the platinum-plus sales of their debut album.
In years to come, The Marshall Tucker Band would wow critics and influence major country acts like Alabama, The Kentucky Headhunters, Confederate Railroad, and Travis Tritt with its definitive blend of rock, rhythm & blues, jazz, country, and gospel. Now, thanks to the expanding scope of today’s music, a new generation of fans is learning what the rest of their fans have known for so long – that good music knows no boundaries.
“As we’ve become older,” Gray grins, eyes twinkling, “our Southern heritage seems to come out even more. But no matter how old we get, we can still rock your socks off.”
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