On Thursday January 26, 2023, I had my shortest drive to a show to date. The show, The Marshall Tucker Band. The Venue, The Vacaville Performing Arts Center in Vacaville California. My drive was about 10 minutes to witness history. Growing up in the 1970s, I was exposed to all the 1970s Southern rock bands since they were the staple in the biker culture. I have been actively listening to The Marshall Tucker Band since about 1975. That is a long time but was my first time seeing them (even though there is only one original member).
Opening with “Dog Eat Dog”, this 11 song set lasted about an hour and forty five minutes. Each song took us on an epic musical journey. In between the songs was filled with personal stories and a good amount of humor. When Doug Gray was introducing “Heard It In A Love Song”, He stated he’s been married four and one half times but he’d never been with a woman long enough for his boots to get old. Between the flute solos and the guitar solos, they had the crowd dancing in their seats.
Each song was an extended version of the original. On “Take The Highway”, B. B. Borden had an amazing, almost 2 minute drum solo. Even after that, he never seemed winded or tired as the song progressed on afterwards. The song “Desert Skies” was a real stripped and slowed down version of the original but fun none the less. It sounded like an old cowboy song sung on the trail from the back of a horse. Very different. The next big solo was during “Blue Ridge Mountain Sky”. This time it was a blistering bass solo by Ryan Ware. Interesting fact, Ryan’s father was once the band’s head of security and that in no way was an influence on him getting the bass position in the band according to Doug.
Rounding out the night was quite probably three of their biggest songs, “Midnight Promises”, “Fire On The Mountain” and “Can’t You See”. These three songs took up the last twenty five minutes of the show and had the crowd up out of their seats dancing.
This was an amazing show and I think everyone in attendance would agree. Doug still has it and the “new” band members are a perfect fit. If they would have had a second night there, I would have been there as well. My only regret is that my mom was feeling well enough to attend with me. That would have made it extra special since she is one of the people that had me listening to them as a kid.
The Marshall Tucker Band are:
Doug Gray – Lead Vocals and Tambourine
B. B. Borden – Drums
Ryan Ware – Bass and Vocals
Marcus James Henderson – Keyboards, Saxophone, Flute and Vocals
Chris Hicks – Guitar and Vocals
Rick Willis – Guitar and Vocals
1). Dog Eat Dog
2). Runnin’ Like The Wind
3). Heard It In A Love Song
4). Take The Highway
5). Desert Skies
6). Georgia Moon
7). Try One More Time
8). Blue Ridge Mountain Sky
9). Midnight Promises
10). Fire On The Mountain
11). Can’t You See
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Photographer of about 10 years, I have been shooting concerts for about 8 of those years. I started to get serious about concert photography about 6 or 7 years ago and now try to shoot as many as I can. I shoot mostly rock but, have done some country and big band stuff. I love music and since I am nowhere close to being a musician, this is a way I can be a small part of what, in the words of Henry Rollins, “gets me through the highs, the lows and everything in between”.