In addition to releasing the Marshall Tucker Band’s Greatest Hits this week, Doug Gray also has unleashed “Soul of the South,” an album that is certain to surprise some fans of the band as it presents Doug Gray in a different, albeit completely fitting, light. The story behind Soul of the South is interesting in that it was recorded not long after Tommy Caldwell had passed away and The Marshall Tucker Band was taking a break; in 1981. Offered the chance to record an album of then-popular pop and R&B songs, Gray selected 8 tracks and worked with Billy Sherrill and Ron Rainey to craft the record. The four other MTB members all joined in performing on the album as well.
It’s a very interesting look into a ‘long-lost’ recording from an era that was heavy on synthesized keyboards and features some interesting songs including “Who” written by Roger Cook (“I Just Wanna Dance With You”) and Earl Bud Lee (who would years later write “Friends in Low Places” and “Who Are You When I’m Not Lookin’). 80’s country heavyweight songwriters Randy Goodrum and DaveLoggins contribute “Don’t Blame It On The Roain” while a then-unknown Michael Bolton contributed the power ballad “Still Thinking of You.” A piece of Marshall Tucker Band lore, Soul of the South was recorded for major label deal that was later turned down in 1981 and thus, the sessions were never completed, leaving these eight recordings. For people who love the Marshall Tucker Band, this is likely a must have and for people who like 1980s pop and R&B, you may dig this record as well. It’s a quality endeavor and as the last remaining unreleased sides from Marshall Tucker Band members, it’s an interesting historical document as well.
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