1977 was a good year for the Marshall Tucker Band. Southern rock had become one of the most popular sounds on commercial radio, priming the band — whose members had spent the past half-decade on the road, sharing shows with everyone from Charlie Daniels Band to Bonnie Bramlett — for the sort of mainstream, platinum-certified success enjoyed by groups like Lynyrd Skynyrd. That success officially arrived with 1977’s “Heard it in a Love Song,” a Top 40 tune that appealed not only to long-hairs and country-rockers, but also soccer moms and pop fans, as well. (Flute fans probably dug it, too.)
Later that year, the Marshall Tucker Band played an outdoor show in Englishtown, New Jersey. The bill also featured Sea Level, a spin-off of the recently dissolved Allman Brothers Band, and the Grateful Dead, whose combined presence brought more than 150,000 fans to Old Bridge Township Raceway Park. It was one of the biggest shows of the Marshall Tucker Band’s career. Three and a half decades later, the group’s 70-minute set is being released as Live from Englishtown, a live album that showcases the Marshall Tucker Band — whose current lineup features Doug Gray as the only original member — with their golden-era membership intact.
“The 1977 Englishtown concert was one of the largest shows in the history of the Marshall Tucker Band,” says Gray. “These recordings will give fans and those who attended a chance to relive that special day by hearing the original MTB lineup in its prime.”
The album, which includes “Can’t You See,” “Fire on the Mountain,” “Heard it in a Love Song” and other MTB staples, hit stores this week.