The Marshall Tucker Band's Doug Gray Reflects on Lengthy Career

The Marshall Tucker Band just announced an epic tour for 2019, Through Hell and High Water ... And Back Tour, which kicks off on Jan. 4 in Clearwater, Florida. The iconic group has more than 30 dates already scheduled, with more expected to be announced in the near future.

"The tour is not completely put together yet. I kind of named it that," lead singer and founding member Doug Gray tells "We're not in a resurgence – that's an old word that everybody uses. But we're in a continued path that's above our normal route. People take the high road and the low road. Well we're riding the middle, and we're happy being in the middle all these years, because we don't stop. Listen, if you headline, you have a hell of a lot more pressure on you, than just being a middle act or an opening act, or closing act."

The Marshall Tucker Band, named after a name they saw on a door in a space they were using to rehearse, never imagined in the beginning that they'd still be performing all over the country, and putting out new music, more than 40 years later.

"We knew we were going to do something musical. We just wanted to see if we could put something together that would be ours," Gray recalled. Although the band has gone through many changes, the one constant has been their commitment to both their fans and to musical excellence.

"One thing we don't do – if you see a show, you'll never see the same show again, at least not in that order. We just have a great time doing it," Gray continued. "I think it's a challenge, which is what keeps me excited. I know my guys are very respectful to the guys that started the band years and years and years ago. But this band that I've got with me now has been with me for 20, 25 years."

The Marshall Tucker Band will once again join several of their friends, including Lynyrd Skynyrd, Blackberry Smoke, Black Stone Cherry, Jonell Moser and more on the upcoming Southern Rock Cruise, which the group has been proud to be a part of for the last several years. For Gray, the best part of the experience is the chance to interact with fans he normally doesn't get to spend time with.

"The most important thing is what has carried through over the last ten of 15 years," Gray explained. "We go out on the cruise, and we're hanging out with the people, instead of sitting in the suite or in our rooms, because that's what the people are paying for. You can come see a show any time. But when you have that many groups out there, people want to see them, and they have a perfect schedule lined up. I want to see some of those other bands too, so I just kind of find me a spot. Most people know where I'm going to be on the boat, so I just sit there and have a good time."

Gray also looks forward to meeting new acts, like Jive Mother Mary, and learning from them, as well.

"Of course, years and years ago, it was whoever was hot at the time," he continued. "Now there's some new up-and-comers, and I want to watch those guys, and get to know them, because that's what the Marshall Tucker Band has been all about."

A limited number of cabins are still available on the Southern Rock Cruise, which will depart on Jan. 6. readers get an exclusive discount, which can be found at


Find a list of all of the Marshall Tucker Band's upcoming shows by visiting their website.

Photo Credit: Getty images/John Shearer