Rocktober Day 28: The Marshall Tucker Band - Carolina Dreams


TaperCraig took us down South yesterday, and all told it’s a pretty good place to be, so let’s hang out there for a while, shall we?

When I say “rock flute” what’s the first thing that comes to mind? That’s a trick question because the answer is and should always be “OH HELL NO”. As this month has proved, we make no bones about our love of “questionable” music here at ChunkyGlasses, in fact we relish in it, but honest to Cthulu, GODDAMN ROCK FLUTE is where we draw the line...unless you are a member of The Marshall Tucker Band.

Look, I don’t expect you to understand or even sympathize, but even with the dreaded rock flute there’s something mysteriously and giddily engaging about TMTB, and it was never more present then on their 1977 album Carolina Dreams.

Maybe it’s there willful exploitation of an evil whose name should never be spoken (say “rock flute” three times into a mirror and see what happens). Maybe it’s that they embody just about every single bad thing about 70’s southern rock ever stood for actually scratch that...they’re probably responsible for just about every single bad thing that ever happened in or around 70’s southern rock. Or maybe it’s just that they take their subject matter and music so hilariously serious that you can’t help but love it.

Whatever the reason, this group of musicians from Spartanburg, South Carolina (TaperCraig’s hometown no less!) has managed to stand the stand the test of time, and it’s been pretty much on the back of a single that, outside of Jethro Tull, contains the single most egregious use of rock flute (shudder) in the history of music. Yes, I’m talking about the song you all know and love, whether you’re willing to recognize it or not: “Heard It In A Love Song”

The 70's were WAY cooler than you are

There’s some magic in that there sound. Magic that rises above standardized guitar licks, above the strict lyrical adherence to the 70’s “Code” (that illusory world that only seemed to exist in the 70’s musical canon, specifically in 70’s ass rock, wherein the men, otherwise known as players of ‘the game’ could never, nay, should never be held back by their ‘old lady’, and always, ALWAYS, felt the need to tell the world about that ‘freedom’ in a song.), and manages to sound completely heartfelt, if not tender (men have feelings too!) despite, or maybe even because of it’s use of rock flute.

Rest assured, there’s more to this record then that one track, but do you really even need more? Another trick question. OF COURSE you need more. The fact of the matter is that the members of TMTB are some of the best musicians turned out by that decade or any other. And whether it’s an act of curiosity, a secret shame or a full on celebration of music they demand the attention of anyone who claims to enjoy good, or even good-bad music.

So give in to this. Invite your friends to listen. Have fun. They simply don’t make shit like Carolina Dreams anymore and whether that’s good or bad is irrelevant because you don’t need much more to keep you satisfied on a lonely whiskey soaked night than this record, a van, a velvet Elvis, some Schlitz, a doobie, an 8-track, did I mention a van (?), a guitar you can’t really play and a GODDAMN ROCK FLUTE.

That’s real power folks. REAL. ROCK FLUTE. POWER.


Or if you prefer