The Marshall Tucker Band, 'The Marshall Tucker Band' (1973)
Spartanburg, South Carolina's Marshall Tucker Band were southern-rock pioneers, along with the Allman Brothers and Lynyrd Skynyrd. And while all three bands shared blues, boogie and jazz influences, MTB's chief songwriter/guitarist Toy Caldwell also drew heavily from country and bluegrass. On the band's self-titled debut, the fiddle-friendly song "Hillbilly Band" was a genuine barn-burner, with Caldwell openly professing his love for country music; the rolling, acoustic guitar and gentle, AM-friendly harmonies of "AB's Song" could pass for the latest from the Zac Brown Band; and with MTB's sprawling improvisations, it's not that difficult to draw a line to jam bands such as Phish — or back to Zac Brown again, who regularly covers MTB's 1977 hit "Heard It in a Love Song." L.R.