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The Marshall Tucker Band, Fat Daddy’s, Mansfield, Texas, August 9th, 2014 Reviewed

MTB Sucks

MTB Sucks

The Marshall Tucker Band was a solidly bankable act in the 1970s, scoring six gold albums and one platinum LP in the pre-MTV era. With their light jazz meets Allman Brothers boogie, they carved a unique niche within the Southern rock formula and I actively enjoy a number of their songs. However, in 2014, there are two significant flaws with the unit:

1. Doug Gray, the only original member of the band, is a painfully bad vocalist, and

2. The rest of the group sounds like a ham fisted bar band.

The set is structured to work around Gray’s limitations as a vocalist as much as possible – allowing guitarists Chris Hicks and Rick Willis to take lead turns, having the crowd sing the first verses of their most popular songs, performing endless solos with no emotional context (the first three songs took up almost half an hour). Gray sang and rambled like an alcoholic with two plugs of Skoal in his cheeks. If that wasn’t bad enough, his instrumental support was there to make things worse. James Henderson’s flute lead intro on “Heard It in a Love Song” was tentative and halting, percussionist B.B. Borden lacked the finesse for the material, and the group’s attempt at funk (“Dog Eat Dog World”) and blues (“Midnight Promises”) were laughably bad. Gray then did a fractured monologue on “Can’t You See,” stopping the song completely for several minutes and then having the crowd sing the chorus long enough for the average attendee to down a six pack.

No need to kill this mosquito with a neutron bomb, so we’ll keep this short. If you are tempted to see the Marshall Tucker Band, take whatever money you would have spent on tickets and buy their greatest hits album. Be sure to crank up “24 Hours At a Time” which is a killer road song. Also, give proper respect to Toy and Tommy Caldwell. Those guys were players.

Grade – D-

Setlist:

This Ol’ Cowboy

Fire on the Mountain

Dog Eat Dog World

Heard It in a Love Song

24 Hours At a Time

Midnight Promises

Asking Too Much of You

Can’t You See

Blue Ridge Mountain Sky

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