The Marshall Tucker Band

Orleans Showroom, March 10

One of the great Southern rock bands that originated in the ’70s, the Marshall Tucker Band has largely been a nostalgia act since the departure of brothers Tommy and Toy Caldwell two decades ago. With only singer Doug Gray remaining from its original lineup, the band has survived by reliving its glory days for loyal fans, many of whom were in Las Vegas for NASCAR weekend.

Starting with opener “This Ol’ Cowboy,” nearly every song was from 1973-75. While Gray’s voice is not what it used to be, the rest of the six-man lineup performed capably on favorites “Fire on the Mountain” and “Take the Highway,” stretching many tunes past the 10-minute mark. That would have been OK if the show had lasted more than 80 minutes. The band only played eight songs in that time, and one of them wasn’t “Heard It In a Love Song.” Part of the problem was Gray’s insistence on telling jokes, taking the spotlight away from his more talented bandmates.

One highlight was guitarist Chris Hicks stepping out front for a cover of Toy Caldwell’s “Midnight Promises,” which allowed him to show off his Greg Allman-esque voice and bluesy playing style. The band saved its anthem, “Can’t You See,” for the finale, which turned into a lengthy sing-along. While the Marshall Tucker Band’s songs remain fresh after nearly 40 years, it would have been nice to hear a few more of them. ★★☆☆☆

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