Beyond the horizon
If Toy and Tommy Caldwell were still around I've got to believe that this outing would have their blessing. The songwriting is strong throughout and two of the tracks were written by Toy himself. My personal two favorite tracks ("The Rain" and "Give It All You Got") were both written and sung by Chris Hicks, who has a total of 8 writing or co-writing credits on the cd. Doug Gray is in fine voice on this disc as is Hicks and the rest of the band. The playing is strong throughout, with flautist David Muse carrying on in the style originally established by Jerry Eubanks, and Doug Gray's nephew, Clay Cook, showcasing his incredible talents on a couple of the tracks, as well as co-writing two tunes with Chris Hicks. Original Tucker producer (from the band's glory days on Capricorn Records), Paul Hornsby, lends his keyboard talents to 8 of the tracks, greatly helping to retain the feel of the original MTB line-up. Grumpy Old Tuckerheads will no doubt complain that without a Caldwell in the group it ain't the Marshall Tucker Band, but this is a finely crafted album that is true to the tradition established by the original band and is deserving to be heard by Tucker fans of all stripes. BEYOND THE HORIZON is Marshall Tucker's best album since 1983. On this one, singer/guitarist Chris Hicks shares lead vocals with Doug Gray, singing many songs on his own and giving the band a new voice while returning it to the old 70s sound of records such as the self-titled debut, A NEW LIFE and WHERE WE ALL BELONG. Several songs are not so great, but the great ones make this a 5-star release.