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Marshall Tucker Band - Carolina Dreams
Review By: Jim Moulton, CSO Staff Journalist

I want to dedicate this review To George McCorkle (original MTB rhytmn guitarist). He passed away June 26,2007. George was a very accessible and humble man. Ironic that he answered an e-mail from me less than two weeks before his death about a rig that he bought from the Grateful Dead. 

Carolina Dreams is the Marshall Tucker Band's sixth and probably their best, things changed on their next disc. Well, back then, they were record albums. Shout Factory is doing a great job of putting this band where they belong in history. There are many similarities between the MTB and the Grateful Dead, just different coasts. This album was originally released in 1977, the year I saw the MTB open up for the Dead at Englishtown, NJ in September. Both bands were at the top of their games, it was a day to remember.

Rhino Records re-releases the Dead's 70's albums with bonus cuts like Shout Factory does with the remastered series of MTB albums. They do a remarkable job of remastering them to make everything sound great.

This disc sounds sweet. Toy Caldwell's guitar sounds are just emotive and with great tone and mastering work by Keith Blake. Out of the many Southern rock bands of the seventies, MTB probably was the most eclectic and also most country sounding.

There are some special guests on this disc, like Jaimoe on congas, Charlie Daniels on fiddle and many more. The album produced the their most commercial success with "Heard It In A Love Song", a country ballad by Toy Caldwell that got all sorts of airplay. A very remarkable song that was just plan good. This song crossed over onto other charts and topped out at #15 on the country charts, but it opened people up to the band's other music.

The opener "Fly Like An Eagle" is a typical MTB swing rocker, McCorkle's guitar is very evident in the mix. The boys say that they spent more time on this record than any other, partly because of label pressure. Very nice flute by Jerry Eubanks and killer guitar break by Toy.

"Desert Skies" is an old time cowboy swing song, with Doug Gray at his best. By the way, their drummer Paul Riddle sounds great here on this disc. Nice pedal steel and horn break on this song, plus Charlie Daniels plays some real nice fiddle. Another similarity between the Dead and them, MTB's lead guitarists, Toy Caldwell, and Jerry Garcia of the Dead, were also very good pedal steel players. Nobody else ever did that. 

The bonus track, a live cut, "Silverado," recorded in Dallas, TX sounds great, Toy is awesome. This was a great live band.
"I ain't never been with a woman long enough for my boots to get old, we been together so long, they both need resoled" (Heard it In a Love Song )

In closing, the art work on this CD is very nice, very much like the Album Artwork, and the silkscreen on the CD itself is beautiful.

Related Links:
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