The Marshall Tucker Band: Doug Gray (vocals); Toy Caldwell (electric guitar); Tommy Caldwell (bass guitar, tambourine, background vocals); Jerry Eubanks (background vocals); George McCorkle, Paul Riddle.
Personnel: Toy Caldwell (guitar, acoustic guitar, steel guitar); George McCorkle (acoustic guitar, electric guitar, 12-string guitar); Charlie Daniels (fiddle); Jerry Eubanks (flute, saxophone); Dezso Lakatos (tenor saxophone); Leo Labranche (trumpet); Paul Hornsby (piano, organ); Chuck Leavell (piano); Paul Riddle (drums).
Additional personnel: Jaimoe Johnson (congas); Charlie Daniels (background vocals); Chuck Leavell, Dezso Lakatos, Paul Hornsby.
Audio Remasterer: Keith Blake.
Liner Note Author: Barry Alfonso.
Recording information: Winter Garden Theater, Dallas, TX (1981).
Photographer: David Alexander .
Released in 1977, Carolina Dreams was a commercial breakthrough for the Marshall Tucker Band in large part due to a pair of hit singles -- "Heard It in a Love Song" and "Fly Like an Eagle." It was also the beginning of their transition from one of Southern rock's preeminent "boogie bands" to a unit that was equally versed in country, rock, blues, folk, pop, and jazz. The easy grace of Doug Gray's voice and Jerry Eubanks' reeds and woodwinds, juxtaposed with the edgy sting of Toy Caldwell's guitars, was a solid combination that is exploited here to its fullest. Paul Hornsby's production accents the ballads and midtempo rockers to fine effect. The band contributed heavily to the compositions on Carolina Dreams, and because Caldwell's singles are so transcendent, the other songs on the set are ratcheted up, as evidenced by the beautiful horn-drenched "I Should Have Never Started Lovin' You" or "Life in a Song," which successfully brought together hard country and Southern R&B in a tight, punchy, and bluesed-out mix. The remastered and expanded edition contains a smoking live version of George McCorkle's "Silverado." It's a bit thin in fidelity, but the performance more than compensates. ~ Thom Jurek