Doug Gray and the members of The Marshall Tucker band just want you to get down have a good time at their show. And that I did. The stars aligned as I was finally able to catch them live last night at The Canyon Club in Agoura Hills. I’m really digging that venue after 4 or 5 shows. Yes, it’s a bit of a hike up the 101 but they get some super cool bands, offer plentiful free parking, awesome sound system and generally super laid back, fun-loving crowds. I feel like I’m on a field trip out in the country somewhere every time I drive down the dark, winding road approaching this place. They offer dinner seating at most shows, but realistically speaking, it would be a virtual impossibility to get there by 7pm, so I just opt for the standing room only tickets and aim to get there by 9pm to allow traffic to die down a bit. Where there’s a will, there’s a way!
Since 1972, Doug Gray and a myriad of others have been making music. And not just any music, but soulful, bluesy, jazzy, Southern-fried rock music. After hitting all time professional highs, as well as sustaining the tragic loss of Tommy Caldwell in 1980, The Marshall Tucker Band is still kicking and they are here to entertain you.
Opening the show with his deep southern drawl, Doug Gray says, “Let’s get on down to it,” and I knew we were in for a treat.
Their sound is so deliciously 70’s. The guitars, bass, drums, the FLUTE, ohhhh the amazing flute. Being a flute player myself, I was always a fan of the brilliant use of a flute in a rock band. And can this guy, Marcus James Henderson play a flute or what? As well as the saxophone, keyboards and outta sight vocals as well! And how can you NOT love any band whose lead singer plays the tambourine? The whole band jams and sings and are clearly loving what they do, and even said so… “We’re not afraid to stand up here and have a good time.” And you believe it too! You can just feel the good vibrations.
Playing hit after hit, “Dog Eat Dog World,” “Take the Highway,” “Fire on the Mountain”. The crowd sang and cheered along. A quick side note about the audiences at The Canyon Club, a bit older than the LA crowds, with a few bikers and cowboys thrown in the mix. Just another reason why I know I’m not in LA proper anymore. Love it!
“Desert Skies” resonated like a lonely cowboy singing beside the campfire. So so good. Gray explained it was from 1974, an classic country song while traveling around in an old dodge van. A new favorite of mine!
“Heard it in a Love Song,” I recognized it in a millisecond. God I love that song! The PERFECT country roadtrip tune, with just a hint of a beers on a beach in Mexico.
As the crowd hollered and begged for more, they left on a high note with a sincere, “Thank you very much for keeping us around all these years,” and broke into “Can’t You See.” Now this is a band worth seeing over and over again. Talent, showmanship, grace, good times and great music… Now that’s what I call a show!