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A New Life
The Marshall Tucker Band

Capricorn CP 0124
Released: March 1974
Chart Peak: #37
Weeks Charted: 28

Both the Marshall Tucker and the Allman Brothers bands have Southern backgrounds, play involved and accomplished musical lines, and expand their material with jams that vary the original themes before returning to them. But on their second album, the Tuckers have achieved a greater definition of their own identity.

The Allmans have drawn more from blues influences, while the Tuckers take more from country. When they combine that strain with some jazz tinges, they arrive at their cooking but mellow feel. "Blue Ridge Mountain Sky" has a fine swirling fiddle by guest Charlie Daniels. "24 Hours at a Time" is a contemporary truck-driving song. And both "Too Stubborn" and "Fly Eagle Fly" would sound at home on any C&W jukebox.

Doug Gray does fine vocal work on the three longer numbers, which include the title track, with its easy-riding flute and guitar patterns, "Southern Woman," with a catchy organ and guitar riff, and the spacey "You Ain't Foolin' Me."

The Tuckers sound is fully integrated and yet individual musicianship stands out. The bass and drums of Tommy Caldwell and Paul Riddle are solid and inventive, and one couldn't possibly ignore Toy Caldwell's guitar. On "Another Cruel Love," he drives and flows simultaneously, playing with his thumb rather than the customary flatpick and finger style of most lead guitarists. He wrote all the songs and is one hell of a musician.

The Tuckers mix a lot of elements intelligently to create the album's distinctive feel. The result is music rich, deep and wide.

- Tony Glover, Rolling Stone, 4/25/74.

Bonus Reviews!

If I were from the South, I imagine I'd love this record, because it would be about me, which would be some kind of relief. Since I'm from New York, I have to complain about the almost complacent evenness of the band's aural landscape even as I take off from an occasional rill and dig into their heimische rural mysticism. B

- Robert Christgau, Christgau's Record Guide, 1981.

On their second release, the Marshall Tucker Band becomes slightly rootsier and bluesier without sacrificing any of the relaxed charm of their first record. Overall, it is a stronger, more consistent album, highlighted by "Southern Woman," "Blue Ridge Mountain Sky," and "Too Stubborn." * * * *

- Stephen Thomas Erlewine, The All-Music Guide to Rock, 1995.

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