top of page

the marshall tucker band

When you wake up and want to put a smile on your face, you think of the songs that always manage to reach down and touch your soul the moment you hear the first note. The Marshall Tucker Band is one such group that continues to have a profound level of impact on successive generations of listeners who’ve been "Searchin’ for a

Rainbow" and found it perfectly represented by this tried-and-true Southern institution over the decades.“I’ve been in tune with how music can make you feel, right from when I was first in the crib,” explains lead vocalist and bandleader Doug Gray, who’s been fronting the MTB since the very beginning. “I was born with that. And I realized it early on, back when I was a little kid and my mom and dad encouraged me to get up there and sing whatever song came on the jukebox. It got to the point where people were listening to me more than what was on the jukebox! There’s a certain gift I found I could share,whether I was in front of five people or 20,000 people. I was blessed with that ability and I’m thankful I can share with others."


The Marshall Tucker Band came together as a young, hungry, and quite driven six-piece outfit in Spartanburg, South Carolina in 1972, having duly baptized themselves with the name of a blind piano tuner after they found it inscribed on a key to their original rehearsal space — and they’ve been in tune with tearing it up on live stages both big and small all across the globe ever since. Plus, the band’s mighty music catalog, consisting of more than20 studio albums and a score of live releases, has racked up multi-platinum album sales many times over. A typically rich MTB setlist is bubbling over with a healthy dose of hits like the heartfelt singalong “Heard It in a Love Song,” the insistent pleading of “Can’t You See” (the signature tune of MTB’s late co-founding lead guitarist and then-principal songwriter Toy Caldwell), the testifying “Fire on the Mountain,” the wanderlust gallop of“Long Hard Ride,” and the explosive testimony of “Ramblin,’” to name but a few.


Indeed, the secret ingredient to the ongoing success of The Marshall Tucker Band’s influence can be seen and felt far and wide throughout many mainstream digital outlets (Netflix, Amazon, etc.). In essence, it’s this inimitable down-home sonic style that helped make the MTB the first truly progressive Southern band to grace this nation’s airwaves — the proof of which can be found within the grooves and ever-shifting gears of “Take the Highway,” the first song on their self-titled April 1973 debut album on Capricorn Records, The Marshall Tucker Band. “We had the commonality of having all grown up together in Spartanburg,” explains Gray about his original MTB bandmates, guitar wizard Toy Caldwell and his brother,bassist Tommy Caldwell, alongside rhythm guitarist George McCorkle,drummer Paul T. Riddle, and flautist/saxophonist Jerry Eubanks. “The framework for Marshall Tucker’s music is more like a spaceship than a house,” Gray continues, “because you can look out of a lot of windows and see a variety of things that show where we’ve been and what we’ve done,and how we’ve traveled through time to bring those experiences out in all of our songs.”


The Marshall Tucker Band’s influence can be felt far and wide through many respected contemporaries and the artists who’ve followed the path forged by their collective footsteps and foot stomps. “MTB helped originate and personify what was to become known as Southern rock, and I was privileged to watch it all come together in the ’70s, night after night,” said the legendary late Charlie Daniels. “In fact, The Charlie Daniels Band has played more dates with The Marshall Tucker Band over the past years than any other band we’ve ever worked with. Even after all these years — after the tragedies, the miles, the personnel changes, and the many developments in the music business.” Daniels added that he never got tired of seeing his MTB brothers on the road: “Whenever Doug Gray walks in to my dressing room with that big ol’ smile of his and then we hug each other and sit and talk for a while, the evening is complete.”


“I remember seeing Marshall Tucker and The Outlaws play together in Jacksonville many years ago, when I was just a kid,” recalls Lynyrd Skynyrd lead singer Johnny Van Zant. “And I heard them all over the radio back then too. They were just so cool and so unique that I fell in love with the band, and I also fell in love with the music. Having them open for us on all those dates was like a dream come true, and they’re still as good as I’ve ever seen them. It brought back a lot of memories for me, because I really looked up to those guys when I was first starting out.”


Ed Roland, the lead vocalist and chief songwriter for Collective Soul, adds“The Marshall Tucker Band had a big influence on me and they still do.”Roland, who’s lived the majority of his life in and around Atlanta, also proudly points out that his band’s biggest hit, “Shine,” owes a clear debt to the musical structure of “Can’t You See,” and he’ll often start off by singing the opening line to that song — “I’m gonna take a freight train” — whenever Collective Soul performs “Shine” live. “We don’t want to stray from what we grew up listening to,” Roland continues. “I think that’s something important for people to hear. It’s just who we are, and I don’t think we should run from it. Hopefully, people see that southern connection to the bands we love like Marshall Tucker in our music.”


Doug Gray sees no end to the road that lies ahead for The Marshall Tucker Band, whose legacy is being carried forward by the man himself and his current bandmates, drummer B.B. Borden (Mother’s Finest, The Outlaws),bassist/vocalist Ryan Ware, keyboardist/saxophonist/flautist/vocalist Marcus James Henderson, guitarist/vocalist Chris Hicks, and guitarist/vocalist Rick Willis. “You know, I think it was Toy Caldwell’s dad who said,‘There’s more to gray hair than old bones,’ and we still have a lot of stories yet to tell,” Gray concludes. “People ask me all the time what I’m gonna do when I turn 80, and I always say, ‘The same thing that we’re continuing to do now.’ We’re road warriors, there’s no doubt about that — and I don’t intend to slow down.” May the MTB wagon train continue running like the wind on a long hard ride for many more years to come. One thing we absolutely know for sure: If you heard it in a Marshall Tucker Band song, it certainly can’t be wrong.


—Mike Mettler, this ol’ MTB chronologist

SS Promo.jpeg

scott stapp

SCOTT STAPP is a Grammy award-winning songwriter, solo artist, and lead vocalist of the rock band Creed. Stapp has sold over 53 million records, been streamed over 1 billion times, and has eleven #1 singles. He’s currently in the studio recording the follow-up album to The Space Between The Shadows (2019), which debuted at the top of Rock and Roll Album charts in the US and UK

Tonic - 2023 Approved Photo.jpg


Music always undoubtedly brings us closer together. The connection forged runs as deep as any family bond does. Similarly, the story of Tonic revolves around the longstanding, close brotherhood shared among members Emerson Hart [vocals, guitar], Jeff Russo[lead guitar], and Dan Lavery [bass]. Since 1996, the GRAMMY®Award-nominated multi-platinum trio has consistently delivered

anthemic and undeniable rock fashioned from eloquent songcraft, lyrical honesty, and unshakable melodies. Along the way, they translated true experiences and real memories into a storied catalog that resounds as loudly today as it did over two decades ago.


“Sometimes, I’ll see somebody in the crowd who’s not more than twenty-years-old,” says Emerson. “This person will be singing a thought I had in 1995 right back to me: every word and every note. Realizing the power of that was a big moment for me. If there are people in the crowd and we’re playing together, that’s the magic of it. We still love it. There’s an understanding this is bigger than us.”


The songs continue to endure. To date, the band has landed six Top 10 singles, sold 4 million-plus records, and garnered a pair of GRAMMY®Award nominations. As the story goes, Emerson and Jeff linked up together in Los Angeles as Tonic during 1994, with Dan joining the group in 1996. Inspired after catching U2’s Joshua Tree Tour in his native New Jersey, Emerson went to L.A., where he and Jeff launched the group. Their full-length debut, Lemon Parade, not only went platinum, but it also yielded the “#1 Most-Played Rock Song of 1997”in the form of the lead single “If You Could Only See.” The band’s follow-up single,“You Wanted More,” served as the lead-off from the platinum Original Soundtrack Album for American Pie and the second full-length, Sugar.


In between a marathon of touring, they released Head On Straight in 2002. The single “Take Me As I Am” received a GRAMMY®Award nomination in the category of “Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal” as the album vied for “Best Rock Album”—only to lose to Bruce Springsteen, “which is still a huge honor being from Jersey,”laughs Dan.


After a five-year hiatus, the three-piece returned to the charts on the heels of Tonic in 2010, landing in the Top 50 of the Billboard Top Rock Albums Chart and Top 25 of the Billboard Top Independent Albums Chart. Following a successful Pledge Music campaign, they re-recorded the seminal Lemon Parade acoustically for 2016’s Lemon Parade Revisited.“


The idea was, ‘How do we do something new?’,” continues Jeff. “We wanted to take it back to the origins of the tracks. So, we sat in a room with acoustic guitars and played. It was a gratifying moment. At the same time, it made us realize that we really enjoy making rock. We love the thrill of playing. It’s come full circle recently, and it’s affected what we’re creating now.”


Outside of Tonic, each musician made a pronounced musical impact of his own. As a sought-after composer for film, television, and video games, Jeff wrote the score for HBO’s critically acclaimed The Night Of in addition to composing for Legion, Counterpart, Star Trek: Discovery, and more. He garnered the 2017 Prime time Emmy®Award in the category of “Outstanding Music Composition for a Limited Series, Movie, or Special” for Fargo. Dan played bass in the multi platinum pop rock outfit The Fray before going on to establish himself as a writer and producer. In recent years, he’s been involved in artist management, working with the likes of Joe Jonas and Adam Lambert. Meanwhile, Emerson ignited a successful solo career, including albums such as Cigarettes and Gasoline[2007], Beauty in Disrepair[2014], and his 2019 third full-length32 Thousand Days.


No matter what, the members of Tonic find themselves coming back together, hitting the road every year.


“This is like musical home base for us,” Dan leaves off. “From there, we can branch out and do other things, but this is something we all go back to. The fact the three of us have managed to stay together since 1996 with only a few years off is something we’re very proud of. The truth is we’re just three dudes from New Jersey and New York who have the same sensibilities. That’s why we’re still together decades later.”


Jeff agrees, “Every time we get back together, it just sounds and feels like Tonic.”


“The songs keep us around,” smiles Emerson. “We love seeing the excitement in fans’ eyes. We’re all connected. When we play, it’s a moment where we all feel something together.”

Vertical Horizon Band Photo 2000x1400_72ppi.jpg

vertical horizon

Vertical Horizon stands for a commitment to superior music.  It’s a concept that has always meant a steadfast striving for the artistically-creative high road. Consistently at the wheel, founder, writer, lead singer and guitarist, Matt Scannell drives and unites the group, always exploring new territories of inspiration.  Perhaps the most significant key to Vertical Horizon’s success today is the freedom they

have from the constraints of a major recording label.  Scannell says, "Our music is coming from the purest place - there are no other considerations beyond 'Do we like this? Does it mean something us?'"  Vertical Horizon works at a tempo that fuels the creative process.  It’s no wonder why so many performers cite them as influences.  
Founded in the early 1990s as a duo, Vertical Horizon released three albums independently (There and Back Again, Running on Ice, and Live Stages) and toured extensively.  In 1999, Vertical Horizon signed with RCA and experienced meteoric success with Everything You Want, selling over two million copies.  The title song captured the #1 spot on Billboard’s Hot 100 and Adult Top 40 charts, and went on to become the most played single of 2000.  Having carved out a page in the annals of music history, the band also garnered further radio attention with “You’re a God” (#4 on Billboard’s Adult Chart) and “Best I Ever Had (Grey Sky Morning),” which became a 2005 top 20 country hit for country star, Gary Allan.

As a follow-up, in 2003, the band released Go. Tracks such as “Inside” (a frequent concert opener), “I'm Still Here,” and “Forever” provided true commercial appeal, whereas the deeper tracks, like “When You Cry,” “Sunshine,” and “Echo” kept the band established as a formidable, no-nonsense rock entity.  Unfortunately, music-industry mismanagement drove the band to seek a hiatus from “the business,” and they took time to reevaluate the creative process and distribution model.  After some time away, Vertical Horizon emerged with the same conclusion their fans had: you can’t keep a good band down.

Today’s Vertical Horizon shares the practices of most long-enduring acts: different creative personnel have entered and exited, adding to the ever-expanding sonic tapestry.  Experienced bands also run the gamut where it comes to variety, and Vertical Horizon is no exception here.  Genres, styles, sounds are the band’s “tools of the trade,” but they’re used with such variety—such intricacy—that it’s a challenge to “classify” the band’s sound.  Sure it’s rock, but nuances mean so much.

"As someone who battles a 'glass is half empty' outlook at times, I actually find myself in a very positive place right now,” says Scannell, and well he should be.  Vertical Horizon is currently touring in support of The Lost Mile. The high energy shows are filled with an assortment of their well-known and latest hits.  The band plays off each other with an almost feverish dynamic energy, drawing the fans into a riveting musical experience at every show.

Vertical Horizon is what it always has been: a vibrant, growing musical entity.  It’s not a reissue: it’s bigger, better, and reloaded. The band’s “wheel of change” continues to turn.  Hold on to the wheel, and you’ll be dragged.  Instead, let it roll—and enjoy the ride.

ShaneProfitt (7).jpg

Shane profitt

Life can change fast – just ask Shane Profitt, an emerging Country star from the small town of Columbia, Tennessee.


At the end of 2021, he was still pulling overtime at his job with the city, busting his back about an hour south of Nashville and living for the weekend … with a few decades left to go. But now the 22-year-old is rocking sold-out crowds at the historic Ryman Auditorium, touring with his chart-topping hero and writing modern Country tunes so genuine, they slip on like a pair of broken-in work boots. Because no one has to tell this singer/songwriter what a blue-collar life is all about.

“Back in November I was still working for the city of Columbia, getting up at 6 o’clock every morning and working 8 hours a day – and I hated every minute of it,” he says with a laugh, noting how far he’s come in such a short time. “When people hear the name Shane Profitt, I want them to automatically know I’m no different than them, because I actually lived that 40-hour-week life. And it wasn’t that long ago.”

Now signed to BMLG Records/Harpeth 60 Records, Profitt is back on the clock and hard at work once more – because it’s all he really knows. But these days, the job description is different.
A salt of the earth Southerner with a big, barrel-chested voice, a straight-shooting swagger and a kind smile, Profitt’s musical toolbox is full of all-natural talent, but he admits to only recently learning the craft. The journey starts a few years ago, when his grandad asked what he wanted for Christmas.


As it turns out, Profitt’s family has its roots in Eastern Kentucky, and get-togethers would often turn into picking parties – since almost everyone played music (except him). His grandad loved traditional bluegrass, while Profitt’s parents were fans of Keith Whitley, Hank Williams Jr. and Merle Haggard, and each would play what they loved. Profitt just wanted to do the same.
“I told him I didn’t really want anything – except to learn how to play Hank Jr. songs on guitar,” the kind-hearted youngster recalls. “So he taught me G, C and D, and I just stuck with it. It all started with those three chords.”


Soon Profitt had surpassed his original goal, and within six months was playing his first paying gig in Columbia. Gifted with a heavy-duty vocal, he became a regular draw at the popular Southern-cooking chain, Puckett’s, traveling all over Tennessee to weekend shows while still holding down his job back home. And while that made for some long hours, it also led to inspiration for original music.

Calling himself a sucker for “Keith Whitley-style heartbreaker,” his first self-penned song was the start of a new life, because within a few months Profitt had begun a new kind of shift work. Working all day and then fighting brutal rush-hour traffic, he’d drive to Nashville each night, just hoping to find someone to write with. Oftentimes he’d get home just five hours before his alarm went off the next morning, get up and do it all over again. But it was worth it.

One day he was having dinner when his modern-Country hero walked in the restaurant. And after summoning the courage to say hello, he and Chris Janson became fast friends.

Impressed by Profitt’s boots-on-the-ground writing style – and his good Southern manners – Janson began mentoring the aspiring star. He would even send Profitt song ideas, and some days the newcomer would park his mower under a shade tree and work out lyrics over lunch – which eventually led to “The Reel Bass Pro” becoming Profitt’s first cut, appearing on Janson’s All In album.

It wasn’t long before Janson was inviting his protege to open shows, but months went by before Profitt finally put in his two-week notice, quitting his day job and signing a 2021 publishing deal to Janson’s Old Tom Publishing/Anthem Entertainment. And after spending the spring of 2022 rocking crowds on the Halfway to Crazy Tour, “Country Boys” completes his transformation.

Built on the foot-tapping foundation of his granddad’s bluegrass roots, it’s a fast talking Friday-night tribute to the only life Profitt knows, and after landing the singer-songwriter a record deal, his new career is underway.

“It’s such a genuine song to us who actually live it,” Profitt says. “It speaks to people just like me.”

The same is true about the rest of Profitt’s recording debut, which was executive produced by Janson with Big Machine Label Group Chairman and CEO Scott Borchetta and features GRAMMY® Awards winner Julian Raymond as producer. With tracks like the hook filled honky tonker "Better Off Fishin'," the hopeful heaven-on-earth anthem "How It Oughta Be" and chest-thumping charmer "Guys Like Me," Profitt puts his life to music -- along with the lives of so many others. And this is just the beginning.

“I’m a writer on every single song, and I’m not gonna write about something I have no idea about,” Profitt says. “So I’m dang sure not gonna sing about something I don’t know, either.”

“I just wanna be known as the guy that’s been there, and is as genuine as they come,” he goes on. “And that’s not ever gonna change.”

Listen to Shane Profitt’s debut MAURY COUNTY LINE collection here.

TH Full Band 1.JPEG

taylor hunnicutt

Taylor Hunnicutt is a singer/songwriter based in Demopolis, Alabama. With roots in Blues, Soul, Country, and Americana, Taylor's performances cross genre lines and give audiences a unique and authentic storytelling experience.

bottom of page