The Marshall Tucker Band / Elvin Bishop's Big Fun Trio

Sunday, April 9 at 7 p.m.
The Northern Lights Theater
Price: $65/$60/$55


The Marshall Tucker Band got its start in Spartanburg, S.C. when Doug Gray teamed up with Tommy Caldwell and Toy Caldwell, Paul T. Riddle, George McCorkle and Jerry Eubanks, borrowing the name "Marshall Tucker" from a piano tuner whose name was found on a key ring in their old rehearsal space. The MTB soon began to headline their own shows across America due to the platinum-plus sales of their debut album. They toured constantly playing sheds, stadiums, theaters, fairs, and festivals.

In the years that followed, the band recorded 22 studio albums, three DVDs, three live albums and many compilations. With hit singles like "Heard It In a Love Song," "Fire On The Mountain," "Can't You See," and "Take The Highway," The Marshall Tucker Band earned seven gold– and three platinum albums. During the ’90s, the MTB scored four hit singles on Billboard's country chart and one on Billboard's gospel chart. Today, the band records on its own RAMBLIN’ RECORDS Label and continues to release new and previously unreleased material.

After a series of band members retiring, and others’ passing, lead singer Doug Gray continues to head the current band of fine musicians. He credits the band's current dynamic members with carrying on the timeless essence of The Marshall Tucker Band sound. Current members include the highly respected drummer B.B. Borden, a former member of both Mother's Finest and The Outlaws, multi instrumentalist Marcus Henderson of Macon, Georgia, plays flute, saxophone and keyboards in addition to lead and background vocals, Pat Elwood on bass guitar, and Rick Willis on lead guitar and vocals, both of Spartanburg SC, are disciples of the Caldwell Brothers. Acclaimed lead guitarist and vocalist Chris Hicks recently rejoined the band after a two-year absence.

“The buying public never really cared whether we were country or rock & roll" says Gray. "They called us a Southern rock band, but we have always played everything from country, jazz, blues, rock & roll and all things in-between. As we've become older," Gray grins, eyes twinkling, "our Southern heritage seems to come out even more. But, no matter how old we get, we can still rock your socks off."

With its definitive blend of rock, rhythm & blues, jazz, country, and gospel, The Marshall Tucker Band has wowed critics and influenced major country acts like Alabama, The Kentucky Headhunters, Confederate Railroad, and Travis Tritt. Now, thanks to the expanding scope of today's music, a new generation of fans is learning what the rest of their fans have known for so long—that good music knows no boundaries.

 

Elvin Bishop's Big Fun Trio

 "Seriously played good-time music guaranteed to put a smile on your face” 

–Chicago Tribune

Although Elvin Bishop has been performing his rollicking brand of electrified front porch blues for over 50 years (his first professional gig was as guitarist for Junior Wells’ band in 1962), he is as vital and creative an artist today as he was when he first hit the national scene in 1965 with The Paul Butterfield Blues Band.

He is still as slyly good-humored and instantly crowd-pleasing as he was when he was effortlessly creating solo hits like “Fooled Around and Fell in Love” during the ’70s. His reemergence on Alligator Records in the late ’80s and into the ’90s, along with his more recent releases on Blind Pig and Delta Groove, insure his place on the short list of bona fide blues guitar heroes.

Bishop's music mixes thick blues grooves with timeless rock flavors spiced with a touch of country, a dab of Moms Mabley’s and Pigmeat Markham’s ribald black comedy, and the laid-back feel of his Northern California home. His guitar playing seems to improve with every performance, and his songwriting is filled with clever revelations and homespun wisdom. Living Blues says Bishop's guitar playing is "as full of fresh licks and unbounded energy as the day he and Mike Bloomfield set the blues/rock world on its ear."

Now, Bishop—along with his friends, guitarist/pianist Bob Welsh and percussionist/vocalist Willy Jordan—launches The Big Fun Trio. Elvin Bishop’s Big Fun Trio features Bishop’s down-home delivery, deep blues picking and slide guitar, playfully meshing with Welsh’s piano and guitar licks and Jordan’s soul singing and propulsive cajón playing. The music is rootsy, spirited and soulful, performed by serious musicians hell-bent on having a good time. In other words: Big Fun.

All guests must be at least 21 years old to enter Theater, or to watch shows at Bar 360 or The Fire Pit's side bar. All tickets are sold with a no return or exchange policy. All schedules/times are subject to change at any time without notice.