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The Marshall Tucker Band: Live From the Garden State 1981

Album Notes

Live From the Garden State 1981 (2004) not only captures the Marshall Tucker Band during a stop at the Garden State Arts Center in Holmdel, New Jersey on May 31, 1981 but also a documentary called Which One Is Marshall Tucker?. The 30-minute featurette has quotes and interview clips with MTB members and friends Charlie Daniels and Travis Tritt. The concert was originally filmed and aired by MTV and is presented here in its 90-plus-minute entirety. Despite the tragic loss of MTB co-founder Tommy Caldwell (bass/vocals) in the spring of 1980, the combo quickly followed up their appropriately-titled Tenth (1980) long-player with the aptly monikered Dedicated (1981). The platter paid tribute to Tommy and younger brother Tim Caldwell, both of whom were killed in separate automobile accidents less than a month apart. With former Toy Factory bassist Franklin Wilkie in place, MTB hit the road in support of Dedicated and included half of the effort in their set amongst the obvious fan favorites and catalog classics. Their collective sense of loss can be heard on "Something's Missing in My Life," "Someone Special" and the heavy "Tell the Blues to Take Off the Night." Despite Tommy's absence, the blend of intricate jazz with rock improvisation carries the music into some interesting places, especially the extended workouts given to the opener "Take the Highway," "Ramblin'," and the optimistic "Searching for a Rainbow." Jerry Eubanks (woodwind) and George McCorkle (guitar) are at the peak of their respective crafts, juxtaposing driving and soulful solos with strikingly elaborate interlocking melodies. The distinctive Doug Gray (vocals) is strong throughout, providing a tough yet responsive rural persona to "Fire on the Mountain" and "This Ol' Cowboy." Which One Is Marshall Tucker? is a modern biographical documentary that gives viewers a glimpse into the MTB's remarkably resilient career and rightful place as seminal Southern icons, alongside the likes of Lynyrd Skynyrd and The Allman Brothers Band. In addition to a standard stereo audio option, the performance can be heard in Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound. ~ Lindsay Planer



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