The Marshall Tucker Band revives the old school “brotherhood” on their latest album, The Next Adventure, bringing in family and friends to help out in the grandest tradition established back in the 1970’s Capricorn Records era.
The core band is here, founding member Doug Gray, along with guitarists Stuart Swanlund and Chris Hicks, bassist Pat Ellwood, drummer B.B. Borden and sax/flute man David Muse. Then there’s the part time band member Clay Cook, a multi-instrumentalist and musical wizard who never fails to amaze. Special guests include Jerry Garcia Band organist Melvin Seals, former MTB members Tony Heatherly, Ronald Radford and Ace Allen, Steve Keeter, David Johnson, Al Shaver, Michael Buffalo Smith and Doug Gray’s daughter Gabrielle.
Speaking of Gabrielle, she does an outstanding duet with Chris Hicks on “I Love You That Way,” a simply beautiful country song co-written by founding MTB member George McCorkle. In fact, George lends three of his co-written tunes to the new album, including “Guitar Playing Man” and “Jesus Never Had a Motor Cycle,” adding even more MTB flavor to the mix. Maybe George will play some on the next MTB record. We hope so. Paul T. Riddle and Jerry Eubanks too.
Eric Anderson’s “Come Running Like a Friend” is Tuckerized and excellent, as is the Melvin Seals composition “Traveling Man,” featuring Seals himself on B-3. As always, Chris Hicks sings his heart out on this one.
A wonderful surprise is “Down This Road Before II” co-written and sung by drummer B.B. Borden. Borden does an admirable vocal, reminiscent of Bob Dylan or Kevn Kinney. A great song.
“A Sad Cowboy Song,” written by bassist Pat Ellwood is true MTB, with Ronald Radford adding some fine steel guitar, and “Crossroad,” written by Doug Gray, Chris Hicks and Buddy Strong (who engineered the recording at his Southeastern Sound Studios) features an all out Tucker jam, with Strong adding guitar and former MTB and Toy Caldwell Band member Tony Heatherly on bass.
“Cold Steel” is a real rocker written by James Copeland, a new biker anthem to be sure, and there is even a Toy Caldwell song, “Why Am I Crying?” Marshall Tucker Band all the way. This is one any true MTB fan is going to love. I know I do.
-Michael Buffalo Smith