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Marshall Tucker Band - Carolina Dreams Tour '77 DVD/CD
By: Jim Moulton, CSO Staff Journalist
1/29/08

Like Surprises? I do. I have been reviewing lots of Shout Factory / Marshall Tucker Band re-releases recently, so when I got this new combo CD and DVD live concert from February of 1977, I was quite excited. Their album "Carolina Dreams" has recently been my favorite album too. 

I did not know this video and audio tape existed, the tape was in poor shape, but Shout factory did a lot of restoration work and also mastering the audio quite well also. In my opinion, this is the original line up at the top of their game. They look so young on this DVD. 

There are two CD's and one DVD, recorded at the Capitol Theatre in Passaic, New Jersey. The Grateful Dead used to play a lot there. Both groups had stellar years in 1977. I saw the MTB open for the Dead at Englishtown, NJ later that same year. 
The extensive restoration work on this disc pays off, it is mastered loud, but no clipping problems or anything like that, just be careful with your volume, so you don't hurt your ears or speakers. Honestly, the tonal qualities on these CDs and DVD are exquisite. Toy Caldwell plays the best show that I have ever heard or seen.

"Twenty Four Hours at a Time" - Toy just blows me away. These guys are so tight, this is a show for the ages. They are all hot and really playing well. Gray sounds great. Tommy (on bass) and brother Toy Caldwell are just locked in together in their playing, they even stand together when playing. Riddle (drummer) is in the back. Eubanks (flute/sax) is on the far right. McCorkle is kind of hidden (rhythm guitar), you hardly see him on the DVD, but he is really strummin' fast, using his whole hand at times. 

"This Ol' Cowboy" is quite incredible, (one Toy Sings), Riddle's drums are great with a jazzy feel. Tone, tone, tone, Toy is incredible, where is he getting that sound from? He is just "lights out" on this show. Great mix, you can hear everything very well. You never see Toy tune, touch a knob, play with a pedal, he just sings and plays. It is like he is on a mission to blow everyone away that night and he just stands there so calmly under his cowboy hat. 

They end the show with a wonderful version of the gospel tune "Will The Circle Be Unbroken," Toy, Doug and Tommy talk to the crowd a lot. I borrowed a DVD player to watch the concert and I'm glad I did, it really brings everything together and seems to sound better than the CDs. The resolution of the video is very watch-able, I wish that you could of seen more of George McCorkle, but that is a lot like him. 

They do six songs from "Carolina Dreams" as they are promoting that album. Fourteen songs in all. Real nice booklet with intro by Barry Alphonso. There is also a very nice memorial picture of Toy and Tommy Caldwell as well as George McCorkle who just passed away last year. This is a real must have for Marshall Tucker Fans.

Shout Factory -2007- 1977 
www.shoutfactory.com   

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