Soul Of The South (Shout! Factory)
The Marshall Tucker Band's Doug Gray
This is an eight song EP, that Doug Gray recorded with the other remaining members of the MTB, except for Tommy Caldwell, who had died in a vehicle accident. This was a project of R&B songs that he was working on for a major label. The songs were picked from a large number of catalog demos. They're recorded by country great recording engineer of Nashville, Billy Sherrill in Spartanburg. The band was in between labels and Doug was using this time for the project, intentions were for it to be a full album, but the MTB was signed by Warner Brothers and he felt his responsibility to move on with the band. Pianist Ronnie Godfrey, and local guitarist Rusty Milner were also involved in the project, Milner later took Toy's place as lead guitarist for the MTB.
Gray says that he picked seven songs from three hundred demos. He said he did "More Today Than Yesterday", because Sherrill bet he could not hit the high notes. Gray then takes the tape to Nashville and changes it, adding, almost a totally different band. Riddle is still very evident as the only drummer. There is a song that I like alot called "Sandman," a bouncy sounding, jazzy piece that sounds like Toy on lead guitar, some very nice lead guitar, I might add. I can't say that I hear Toy anywhere else on the CD.
"Let Me Be The Fool" is another jazzy sounding number. It has some great sax on it, which I am thinking is Jerry Eubanks. Bassist Bob Wray was added in Nashville and sounds good playing with Riddle. "Who" has a lot of synth in the mix and he has some backup singers called "The Cherry Sisters," who add a Motown touch to the mix.
"Guilty" is a funk, disco type song with funky disco groove going on. Doug Gray sounds good on this type of material.
"Don't Blame it on The Rain" has lots of orchestration from the synthes. The funky bass is excellent, good guitar here, definitely not sounding like Toy or George.
"Still Thinking Of You" (Michael Bolton) sounds good, excellent song by the star to be. It is a slower number, fit's Doug's voice well.
"More Today Than Yesterday" is one of the best sounding songs on the EP. Doug's vocals really do justice to the popular cover song. The rhythm guitar could be McCorkle, sounds like his style. This CD along with the New MTB Greatest Hits CD are both available on Amazon and the MTB website. This CD is a good recording in the end, I would have loved to hear the version before it left Spartanburg.
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