Marshall Tucker Band to hit stage tonight in Kona


One of Southern rock’s heritage acts, The Marshall Tucker Band, takes the stage tonight at the Kona Brewing Co. in Kailua-Kona.

Gates open 6 p.m. with opening act Jack and The Rippers with special guest Moon Brown playing at 6:30 p.m. and MTB scheduled to hit the stage at 8 p.m.

Tickets are $45 for general admission, $65 for VIP tables. Advance tickets are available at: CD Wizard, Music Exchange, Hilo Guitars and Ukuleles and Kipuka Smoke Shop in Hilo; Taro Patch Gifts in Honokaa; Waimea General Store in Parker Square; and Kona Brew Pub, Sound Wave Music and Kiernan Music in Kona. Gold circle seating is available online at www.lazarbear.com.

The Marshall Tucker Band got its start in Spartanburg, S.C., when lead singer Doug Gray, who’s still in the band, teamed up with Tommy Caldwell and Toy Caldwell, Paul T. Riddle, George McCorkle and Jerry Eubanks.

They took “Marshall Tucker” from a piano tuner whose name was found on a key ring in their old rehearsal space. In 1972, they signed with Capricorn Records, the same label that guided The Allman Brothers Band to national fame.

The MTB opened shows for The Allman Brothers in 1973, and the following year, they began headlining their own shows across America because of the platinum-plus sales of their debut album.

The band went on to record hits including “Can’t You See,” “Heard It in a Love Song,” “Fire on the Mountain” and “Take It to the Highway.”

Forty years later, their music is still a staple on classic rock radio, ensuring generations of new fans for their music.

The band’s personnel, however, has changed with time.

Tommy Caldwell died in 1980 after an automobile collision. In 1984, Toy Caldwell, McCorkle and Riddle retired. Jerry Eubanks retired in 1996. Toy Caldwell died in 1993 and McCorkle died in 2007.

Gray continues to front the band, which includes slide guitarist Stuart Swanlund, lead guitarist Rick Willis, bassist Pat Elwood, drummer B.B. Borden and multi-instrumentalist Marcus Henderson.

“Our fans never really cared whether we were country or rock ’n’ roll,” said Gray. “They called us a Southern rock band, but we have always played everything from country (to) jazz, blues, rock ’n’ roll and all things in between. As we’ve become older, our Southern heritage seems to come out even more.

“But no matter how old we get, we can still rock your socks off.”

 

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