The iconic Marshall Tucker Band thrilled a sellout crowd with a memorable concert on Friday, July 28, at TJ’s Corral at Carson Valley Inn. The 45th Live in Concert tour commemorates the beginning of the band in 1972, when six childhood friends from Spartanburg, South Carolina, returned from Vietnam and decided to give music one more try.
The band’s name came from a key chain to a rented warehouse that belonged to a blind piano tuner named Marshall Tucker. The band released its inaugural self-titled first album in 1973 and a jazzy version of Southern rock was born. The Marshall Tucker Band employs traditional guitars, bass, keyboards and drums but adds the flute and saxophone.
The group’s current lineup features original member Doug Gray on lead vocals and tambourine, Rick Willis on guitar and vocals, B.B Borden on drums, Chris Hicks on guitar and vocals, Marcus James Henderson on keyboards, saxophone, flute and vocals, and Tony Black on bass and vocals. The band is even tighter than during last year’s tour, which included a show at Lake Tahoe. The members love sharing the joy of their music and reminiscing with the fans about the songs. “You may have heard that version one time on an 8 track tape,” Gray quipped. “That is what makes it so special.”
That first Marshall Tucker Band album included its first hit, “Take the Highway.” The overflow crowd was treated to an extended adaptation of that classic, which lasted more than 10 minutes. The fans were mesmerized by the guitar licks of Rick Willis and searing lyrics. The love affair continued with the hits, “Fire on the Mountain,” “Desert Skies” and “Heard It in a Love Song.”
When Marshall Tucker Band started playing “Can’t You See,” dozens of classy country ladies rushed to the front of the stage. Security decided it was best to let the party continue and the fans loved it. Doug Gray had the crowd singing the refrain over and over as he implored the fans to sing even louder. The audience was in a frenzy, standing and dancing for the rest of the show.