Lynyrd Skynyrd has endured since the 1970s, rebounding from the death of legendary singer-songwriter Ronnie Van Zant, guitarist Steve Gaines and vocalist Cassie Gaines in a 1977 plane crash.

Guitarist Allen Collins, who survived the crash, passed away and, most recently, the band lost bassist Leon Wilkinson.

Ronnie’s youngest brother, Johnny Van Zant, has grown into the role of fronting the band. Referring to the group’s 2003 album, “Vicious Cycle,” Johnny says “We’ve hit on a combination of old-style Skynyrd with new-style Skynyrd, with commercial Skynyrd. We’ve got the rockin’ country thing going full blast on this one!”

Original members Gary Rossington on guitars and Billy Powell on keyboards are also featured along with Rickey Medlocke, of Blackfoot, who was an early member of Skynyrd but left before the band released its first album. Hughie Thompson, of Outlaws fame, completes the classic three-guitar lineup and drummer Michael Cartellone gives the group a thunderous kick.

The band’s emergence in 1973 signaled the beginning of a new era of rock.

“Live shows are really what this band is about,” said Rossington. “We love to play live, there’s nothing else like it. We don’t know anything else to do. We got it down now, people are enjoying it so we’re enjoying doing it for them.”

Marshall Tucker Band

The Marshall Tucker Band has played countless concert venues around the world. Years of rigorous tour schedules earned the band the respect of critics and countless dedicated fans. “We never play less than 150 shows a year, and sometimes we play as many as 200 shows,” says lead singer Doug Gray. “We feel we owe it to the fans who have supported us through the years to deliver the music in person.”

The band got its start in Spartanburg, S.C., when Gray teamed up with Tommy and Toy Caldwell, Paul T. Riddle, George McCorkle and Jerry Eubanks, borrowing the name “Marshall Tucker” from a piano tuner whose name was found on a key ring in their old rehearsal space.

The band opened shows for the Allman Brothers in 1973. The following year, they began to headline their own shows across America thanks to the platinum-plus sales of their debut album.

The band’s latest album, “Beyond the Horizon,” was released in May of this year along with a re-release of of two of the group’s remastered classics, “Carolina Dreams” (1977) and “Together Forever” (1978).

Gray says the new album embodies what what the band has been doing since he started the group, “making music that keeps the fans on their feet.”

“We began as a bunch of guys who wrote some fun music together,” he said, “and our dreams get fulfilled every time we hit the stage.”

The Marshall Tucker Band has released 20 studio albums with hit singles including “Can’t You See,” “Fire on the Mountain” and “Heard It in a Love Song.”

Today’s Marshall Tucker lineup along with Gray, includes guitarist-vocalist Chris Hicks, bassist-vocalist Tony Heatherly, slide guitarist-vocalist Stuart Swanlund, drummer B.B. Borden and David Muse on keyboards, sax, flute and vocals.

Tickets can be obtained from the Civic Center box office, 626-2400, and from Ticketmaster, (207) 775-3331 or www.ticketmaster.com.


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