01 Jun MARSHALL TUCKER BAND- “IS PROGRESSIVE”

Marshall tucker Band's Toy Caldwell on guitar at Winterland in San Francisco on 4-17-76.

Marshall Tucker Band performing at Winterland in San Francisco on April 17, 1976. Photo by Ben Upham


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“MARSHALL TUCKER BAND IS PROGRESSIVE”
by MARTHA HUME
SPARTANBURG, South Carolina (KFS)
The Record-Eagle, Traverse City, Michigan
Friday, July 22, 1977

“Jaimoe” Johanny Johanson, drummer for Sea Level and formerly for the Allman Brothers Band, wore a modified killer-bee outfit to the recent Marshall Tucker Band homecoming. Oddly enough, Jaimoe’s black-and-yellow striped B.V.D.’s, black tights, one yellow sock, one green sock and tasseled loafers didn’t look out of place.
It’s hard to compete with a backstage crowd consisting of: Potentates of the Hejaz Shrine Temple, 80-year-old grandmothers dressed in their Sunday best, South Carolina State troopers, Dolly Parton blondes in dangerously low-cut dresses, and two stray professional wrestlers in skimpy briefs. Even Jaimoe’s name couldn’t compete —?’ the wrestlers were Tiger Conway and Pino Bravo.
The New South was out in all its kinky glory, and somehow the Shriners, the wrestlers, the musicians, the grannies, “and the troopers fit right in. They’d all come to hear Spartanburg’s very own
claim to fame (next to peaches and textiles), the Marshall Tucker Band. As far as Spartanburg is concerned, the six member MTB, none of whom is named Marshall Tucker, has conquered the world.
Their boys play “southern music?”, and although the music itself is much more complicated, the phrase is a rallying cry that seems to have united the South’s social classes and age groups, just as “outlaw music” brought rednecks and hippies together in Texas.
The Marshall Tucker Band — Toy and Tommy Caldwell, Jerry Eubanks, Doug Gray, George McCorkle and Paul Riddle — is among the must successful of the new southern bands. MTB has had four gold albums since Capricorn Records signed them in 1972. “Heard It
In A Love Song,” the single from the “Carolina Dreams” album, is now Top Ten. Still, the band hasn’t had the kind of critical acceptance they’d like, perhaps because they’ve been saddled with the “southern music” label.
“This ‘southern music” thing is kindly gettin’ just a little out of hand,” says Toy Caldwell, the band’s lead guitarist, “We’re all from the South and we all play music, but I don’t know what “southern music” is. The Allman Brothers played it, if there ever was such a thing, but there’ll never be nobody like that any more. We came up behind ’em, our music is country influenced and everything, but we’re not playin’ anything new. So I guess to me ‘southern music’ is just a band from the South playin’music”…
If anything unites Southern bands it is their common debt to the Allman Brothers. Nonetheless, Marshall Tucker’s music is quite different from the Allmans’, whose music is based in southern blues; MTB’s music begins in country music and takes off from there..
“We play progressive country music,” says Tommy Caldwell, Toy’s brother and the band’s bassist. “It’s just a three-chord country song that’s played different every night. But you can’t stretch out in a three-chord country song, so we take it and set it up to where we can.”
“If you listen to it, you can hear a lot of different sounds,” says rhythm
guitarist George McCorkle. “Paul (Riddle, drummer) is really jazz influenced. Jerry (Eubanks, flute & sax , he’s rhythm & blues. I got a lot of blues influence, and Toy and Tommy was raised playin’ country. It all comes together in that country feel that everybody has.”
“Capricorn to me has always been a family,” says McCorkle. “You could tell it ’cause we all go onstage together. If Jimmy Hall (of Wet Wilie) was ever around, he would be onstage before the night was up. Same thing with Chuck Leavell or Jaimoe. You don’t have to be asked. We’re just friends.”

When the Marshall Tucker Band took the stage in Spartanburg to benefit the Greenville Unit of the Shriners’ Crippled Children’s Hospital, Jaimoe was there playing congas and Charlie Daniels played fiddle. Marshall Tucker plays hard, and the audience knows it. The Spartanburg crowd brought the band back for five encores. Of course, much of the audience seemed to be family — a look at the Spartanburg County telephone directory shows 86 Caldwells, 68 Grays, 36 Eubanks, 35 Riddles, 2 McCorkles..

MARSHALL TUCKER BAND DISCOGRAPHY:
1973 The Marshall Tucker Band
1974 A New Life
1974 Where we All Belong
1975 Searchin’ For A Rainbow
1976 Long Hard Ride
1977 Carolina Dreams
1978 Together Forever
1979 Runnin’ Like The Wind
1980 Tenth
1981 Dedicated
1982 Tuckerized
1983 Just Us
1983 Greetings From South Carolina
2003 Stompin’ Room Only (1976 Live)
2006 Live on Long Island 4-18-80
2008 Carolina Dreams Tour 1977

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