November 9, 2013 - Marshall Tucker Band Concert Delights Jensen Beach Florida Audience
By: Steve Muzzy
Space Coast News
The Marshall Tucker Band returned to Florida’s East Coast to appear at the Jensen Beach Pineapple Festival. Coming fresh off a successful gig in Rome, Georgia the night before, the band was welcomed by a record crowd at the annual Festival. MTB has long enjoyed a special relationship with its Florida based fans, and this evening’s show was no exception.
As the band arrived at the venue following an afternoon rehearsal, Doug Gray (lead singer, original band member, and CEO) and the entire band graciously participated in a meet and greet event with local VIPS and longtime loyal fans of the band. Ever the gentlemen, after all of the pictures were taken and autographs were signed, Doug made a point to ensure the restaurant owner and staff were not forgotten. The current outstanding MTB lineup has been in place for several years which has created a chemistry that creates new fans while delighting old fans as well.
Under the leadership of 40 year band veteran Doug Gray, MTB is poised to continue to play the music that has been loved for generations, for many years to come. In addition to Gray, Macon, Georgia native Chris Hicks is one of the industry’s most respected guitar players, singer, and songwriter who never fails to deliver when onstage. Marcus James Henderson is an accomplished horn, keyboardist, and singer whose contributions make the unique MTB sound that blends Jazz, blues, country, rock, and gospel as alive today as it was 40 years ago. Accomplished drummer/percussionist BB Borden, guitarist/lead vocalist Rick Willis, and bassist Pat Elwood round out the band.
Just prior to going onstage, I had a few moments to catch up with Doug. Our conversation was wide ranging – everything from the current Richie Incognito controversy surrounding the local NFL team (Miami Dolphins), how proud he was of his daughters, to the hurt he still feels over the passing of his wife. The thing that stood out the most though was how he truly is happiest when he is able to get onstage and connect with the people through the timeless music of the Marshall Tucker Band.
Due to the festival concert lineup, tonight’s show was going to be a shortened set. Kicking off with This Ol’ Cowboy, the Florida crowd came to life, and extended a warm welcome to the band. The George McCorkle tune and MTB classic “Fire on the Mountain” followed. Most notable to this longtime fan was the strength of Doug Gray’s vocals. 40 years on the road with 200 shows a year can take its toll and the 65 year old Gray, skillfully utilizes his bandmates to assist in harmonizing as necessary. On this evening, Doug concluded the song in manner that harkened back to 1975. Next up was the Southern Rock Classic, “Take the Highway “, and the band did not disappoint. Marcus James Henderson delighted the audience with his lead vocals and saxophone playing. The Brevard, North Carolina native mentioned of having a bit of a scratchy throat from the show from the previous night and steady touring, but delivered a stellar performance nonetheless.
Before the next song was played, Doug told the crowd that someone had requested this particular song be played. He mentioned it was quite a lonesome and sad song – but it also made him happy as well. The request of “Georgia Moon” was made by yours truly and is off the Chris Hicks “Dog eat Dog” album. With a full moon overhead, Hicks delivered a soulful, bluesy rendition of the song that was simply beautiful. It is a personal favorite of mine and is a song that needs to be experienced live and outdoors to fully appreciate.
“Heard it in a love song” was up next and was the perfect follow up to Georgia Moon. The audience loudly sang along, note by note. The Southern Rock anthem, “Can’t you see” followed. Two ladies were handpicked by Doug to come up on stage and assist in playing the tambourine and the party was in full force! Informed by the show organizers that the set would need to conclude, the audience very enthusiastically pleaded with the band to come out for an encore. The show organizers happily relented and, of course, the band was very happy to oblige.
As he always seems to do, Doug took a moment to talk about the late Toy Caldwell and a song off his solo album. Midnight Promises was the perfect song and perfect ending to another successful MTB concert. After the show and after taking dozens of photos with well-wishers, Doug commented that he feels as good as he ever has. Every day on the treadmill, loving family and friends at home, and the allure of the next tour stop and time onstage, will surely keep him and the entire Marshall Tucker band going strong in the years ahead.
cant wait to see you in wisconsin this august. a loyal fan since the 70's. its sad i cant see you in minnesota, but a five hour trip is nothing to see my all time favorite band. i have been runnin like the wind these past 40 years. life is good after sobering up. u all be safe travelin and see ya soon. peace al
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