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“Never in a million years would I have believed that we’d still be out here jammin’ for as long as we have,” marvels Doug Gray, frontman for Southern rock legends Marshall Tucker Band.
It’s a few days before Christmas and Doug is bombing down the highway to see a family friend, the hustle and bustle of the holiday season in full effect. It’s not just Santa’s impending arrival that he’s excited for, though; in just two weeks’ time he’ll be on the road again with Marshall Tucker Band on their Through Hell & High Water…And Back tour, and the wild ride that began 48 years ago and brought him to this moment in the band’s career still amazes Doug to no end.
Formed in Spartanburg, South Carolina in the early 70s, Marshall Tucker Band never set out with fame and fortune in mind; they liked playing together, and if it meant a little extra money for beer on the weekends, even better.
Somewhere in there, though, the magical combination of blood, sweat, tears, and sheer talent that brought together Doug Gray, George McCorkle, Jerry Eubanks, Paul Riddle and brothers Toy and Tommy Caldwell saw Spartanburg’s finest thrown headfirst into legend, joining the likes of Lynyrd Skynyrd and the Allman Brothers Band as the reigning kings of Southern rock.
But it wasn’t due to luck – far from it.
Marshall Tucker Band’s 5x Gold, 3x Platinum-selling status was the direct result of being the hardest working, hardest touring band in the business, performing upwards of 300 shows per year throughout the 1970s. If you think about it, that’s literally one show per day for an entire year, with maybe two months off to breathe and sleep in their own beds before it was time to pack up and get ready to do it all over again. It’s that same fierce work ethic that finds Doug ready and rarin’ to hit the road once more nearly 50 years later, eager to bring Marshall Tucker Band’s brand of Southern rock to fans and friends across North America in 2019.
It’s those same fans and friends that helped inspire the tour’s name – Through Hell & High Water…And Back.
At first glance, it reads like something triumphant – and in a way, it is.
In an era where bands are getting ready to hang it up after decades on the road, Marshall Tucker Band is just getting started on the next chapter of their journey and they’re not showing any signs of slowing down – not now, not ever. But the name “Through Hell & High Water…And Back” boils down to something much simpler for Doug, who coined the tour’s title himself; “It’s old friends back again,” he says simply.
For Doug and his Marshall Tucker Band bandmates, “old friends” are the generations of fans that come out – grandparents, parents who remember being toted to concerts as kids, and grandbabies seeing the band for the first time. It’s bands from the early days of Southern rock coming out to support their friends, sharing a laugh and a memory or two or ten backstage before the curtain goes up. It’s folks in the crowd whose names they can’t quite remember but whose smiling faces make every city around the world feel a little bit more like home.
It’s Marshall Tucker Band coming back to all of those folks, bringing order to a world seemingly out of control with what Doug perfectly sums up as “music that makes sense”.
And that’s what makes the “Hell & High Water” part of being in a band with a history as brilliant as Marshall Tucker Band’s worth doing it all over again.
Marshall Tucker Band’s Through Hell & High Water…And Back Tour 2019 is trucking right along, slated to wrap in Webster, MA on June 29th. Check out the list of dates below to see when Southern rock’s greatest heroes are coming to a city near you, and get your tickets now!
Jan 4 – Clearwater, FL – Capitol Theatre
Jan 5 – Fort Lauderdale, FL – Parker Playhouse
Jan 6-12 – Tampa, FL – The Southern Rock Cruise
Feb 22 & 23 – Walhalla, SC – Walhalla Performing Arts Center
March 1 – Las Vegas, NV – Golden Nugget
March 2 – Scottsdale, AZ – Talking Stick Resort (The Showroom)
March 3 – Solana Beach, CA – Belly Up
March 7 – Agoura Hills, CA – The Canyon
March 9 – Santa Clarita, CA – The Canyon
March 14 – Riverhead, NY – The Suffolk Theatre
March 15 – Verona, NY – Turning Stone Resort Casino
March 16 – Norwalk, CT – Wall Street Theater
March 23 – Bristow, OK – The Freeland Center
March 28 – Charleston, SC – Charleston Music Hall
March 29 – Myrtle Beach, SC – House of Blues
March 30 – Charlotte, NC – The Fillmore
April 3 – The Villages, FL – Savannah Center
April 6 – Mobile, AL – Saenger Theatre
April 12 – Charleston, WV – Charleston Civic Center Coliseum
April 13 – Pikeville, KY – East Kentucky Expo Center
April 27 – Cherokee, NC – Harrah’s Cherokee Casino
May 3 – Durham, NC – Carolina Theatre of Durham
May 4 – Glenside, PA – Keswick Theatre
May 11 – Sioux City, IA – Anthem at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino
May 31 – Eldon, MO – Shawnee Bluff Winery and Vineyard
June 1 – La Cygne, KS – Wildwood Outdoor Education Center
June 7 – Macon, GA – Macon Centreplex Coliseum
June 29 – Webster, MA – Indian Ranch
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