Marshall Tucker Band – Fire On The Mountain

And there’s fire on the mountain
Lightening in the air
Gold in them hills and it’s waiting for me there

This morning there will be 3 southern rock songs. Two well-known and one of my favorite album cuts. I live in the south…so I don’t know if it is a self-conscious thing with me but I don’t feature much southern rock. When some of my classmates were listening to Lynyrd Skynrd, Marshall Tucker, and The Allman Brothers…my feet were stuck firmly in the UK in the 1960’s…and really they never left…I just expanded some.

Now, I see music fans that really get into this music in Germany, UK, and all over the world. It’s made me appreciate what was in my own backyard.

This song sounds older than what it is…The chorus is catchy and is southern as you can get. Since I live in the south I have been bombarded with Southern Rock but I’ve been listening to it recently and have started to enjoy more of it.

This country-rock ballad was written by George McCorkle, guitarist for the Marshall Tucker Band. Set during the California gold rush, it tells the story of a family that sets out from their home in Carolina looking to strike it rich.

The song peaked at #38 in the Billboard 100 and #81 in Canada in 1975.

Many say that Toy Caldwell was the soul of that band. He was a Marine in the 60s and served in Vietnam. After getting injured he was able to go home and started to play music with his high school friends. Toy and his brother helped start Marshall Tucker.

Toy Caldwell played steel guitar on this track, but according to McCorkle, he played it out of tune because he had just recently bought the instrument and didn’t know how to tune it properly.

Toy stayed with Marshall Tucker until he left in 1984. Contributing to him leaving was the fact that his brother… co-founder of the band and bass guitarist Tommy Caldwell, was killed at age 30 in an automobile accident on April 28, 1980. Toy’s other brother Tim Caldwell, who on March 28, 1980, one month prior to Tommy’s death, was killed at age 25 in a collision in South Carolina.

Gregg Allman: When we wanted to get away from our old ladies, we’d head on down to Grant’s Lounge, which was a great place to hang out. We saw a lot of bands, including Marshall Tucker, or Mother Tucker, as we called them. Toy Caldwell was a good friend of mine, but I wouldn’t give you a nickel for the rest of them. Toy Caldwell was Marshall Tucker—he made that band what it was.

This was The Marshall Tucker Band’s second-highest hit, the highest being “Heard It In A Love Song.” It was also one of their only two Top 40 hits.

 

Fire On The Mountains

Took my family away from our Carolina home
Had dreams about the west and started to roam
Six long months on a dust covered trail
They say heaven’s at the end
But so far it’s been hell

And there’s fire on the mountain
Lightening in the air
Gold in them hills and it’s waiting for me there

We were digging and shifting from five to five
Selling everything we found just to stay alive
Gold flowed free like the whiskey in the bars
Sinning was the big thin Lord
And Satan was the star

And there’s fire on the mountain
Lightening in the air
Gold in them hills and it’s waiting for me there

Dance hall girls were the evening treat
Empty cartridges and blood lined the gutters of the street
Men were shot down for the sake of fun
Or just to hear the noise of their 44 guns

And there’s fire on the mountain
Lightening in the air
Gold in them hills and it’s waiting for me there

Now my widow, she weeps by my grave
Tears flow free for her man she couldn’t save
Shot down in cold blood by a gun that carried fame
All for a useless and no good worthless claim

And there’s fire on the mountain
Lightening in the air
Gold in them hills and it’s waiting for me there

Fire on the mountain
Lightening in the air
Gold in them hills and it’s waiting for me there
Waiting for me there

Marshall Tucker Band – Can’t You See

“Gonna buy me a ticket now, as far as I can, ain’t never comin’ back
Take me Southbound, all the way to Georgia now, till the train run out of track”

A song that most garage bands can and do play at least once. A simple D-C-G and you are off to the races with this classic song. I was re-introduced it with the movie Blow. “”Till the train run out of track” is a great line.

This song has grown on me through the years. It’s simple, effective, and to the point. “That woman” left the singer high and dry.

There is no Marshall Tucker in The Marshall Tucker Band. The name refers to a blind piano tuner from Columbia, South Carolina. They saw the name on a door key where they used to rehearse and decided it would make a good name for their band.

This song was written by lead guitarist Toy Caldwell.

The mix between the flute (Not a southern rock standard) at the beginning with Caldwell’s great guitar licks along with his powerful singing sets this song off.

The song only peaked at #108 in the Billboard 100 in 1973 but was reissued in 1977 and peaked at #75 in Billboard and #39 in Canada…and has remained a classic radio staple.

 

From Songfacts

This became the anthem song for The Marshall Tucker Band, similar to “Free Bird” for Lynyrd Skynyrd. It was never a Top 40 hit, but was very popular on Album Oriented Radio (AOR) and continues to get a lot of airplay on Classic Rock stations.

The open in unusual – it starts with the picking of a guitar and the playing of a flute. Jerry Eubanks of the Marshall Tucker Band played the flute, giving the song a very distinctive sound – it’s not a common instrument in the world of Southern Rock.

The song was named the #1 greatest Southern Rock song ever recorded by Ultimate Classic Rock with Sweet Home Alabama as runner-up.

Said the site, “Next time you hear this song in public, take notice and you’ll make the strangest observation, especially if there is booze involved. There seems to be something about this particular song that makes the majority (very ironically) close their eyes and sway their head from left to right while singing the song’s famous ‘Can’t you see’ line. That universal connection earns this song the top spot on our Southern Rock songs list.”

Can’t You See

I’m gonna take a freight train, down at the station
I don’t care where it goes
Gonna climb me a mountain, the highest mountain, Lord,
Gonna jump off, nobody gonna know

Can’t you see, can’t you see, what that woman, she been doin’ to me
Can’t you see, can’t you see, what that woman been doin’ to me

I’m gonna find me a hole in the wall, gonna crawl inside and die
That lady, mean ol’ woman Lord, never told me goodbye

Can’t you see, can’t you see, what that woman she been doin’ to me
Can’t you see, can’t you see, what that woman been doin’ to me

Gonna buy me a ticket now, as far as I can, ain’t never comin’ back
Take me Southbound, all the way to Georgia now, till the train run out of track

Can’t you see, can’t you see, what that woman, she been doin’ to me
Can’t you see, can’t you see, what that woman been doin’ to me