The Marshall Tucker Band takes the stage April 23 at Ruth Eckerd Hall.

CLEARWATER — The Marshall Tucker Band and BlackHawk will perform Friday, April 23, 7:30 p.m., at Ruth Eckerd Hall, 1111 McMullen Booth Road, Clearwater.

BlackHawk also will perform. Tickets start at $68.75. This performance will be presented at 50% capacity. For tickets and information, visit www.RuthEckerdHall.com.

For nearly five decades, the Marshall Tucker Band has torn it up on live stages both big and small all across the globe. The band’s music catalog, consisting of more than 20 studio albums and a series of live releases, has racked up multiplatinum album sales many times over in its wake.

A typically rich MTB setlist is bubbling over with a healthy dose of indelible hits like the heartfelt singalong “Heard It in a Love Song,” the testifying travelogue warning of “Fire on the Mountain,” the wanderlust gallop of “Long Hard Ride,” the unquenchable yearning pitch of “Ramblin’,” and the insistent pleading “Can’t You See” — the signature tune of MTB’s late co-founding lead guitarist and then-principal songwriter Toy Caldwell

According to a biography provided by Absolute Publicity, in the early fall of 1973, the Marshall Tucker Band was still a young and hungry group out to prove themselves every time they hit the stage.

“We were a bunch of young guys who didn’t know any boundaries,” said founding member and longtime lead singer Doug Gray.

Today, the band records on its own Ramblin’ Records Label, distributed by Sony/RED, and continues to release new and previously unreleased material. Gray is quick to credit the band's current dynamic members with carrying on the timeless essence of the Marshall Tucker Band sound. Current members include the highly respected drummer B.B. Borden, a former member of both Mother's Finest and the Outlaws; multi-instrumentalist Marcus Henderson of Macon, Georgia, on flute, saxophone and keyboards; Pat Elwood on bass guitar; and Rick Willis on lead guitar and vocals. Acclaimed lead guitarist and vocalist Chris Hicks recently rejoined the band after a two-year absence. Together they present a powerful stage presence as they continue to tour the country and continue to be powerful force in the world of music.

The Marshall Tucker Band got its start in Spartanburg, South Carolina, when Gray teamed up with Tommy Caldwell 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. In 1972, they signed with Capricorn Records, the same label that guided the Allman Brothers Band, Wet Willie, and others to national fame.

The MTB opened shows for the Allman Brothers in 1973, and the following year, they began to headline their own shows across America due to the platinum-plus sales of their debut album. They toured constantly playing sheds, stadiums, theaters, fairs, and festivals.

In years to come, the Marshall Tucker Band would wow critics and influence major country acts like Alabama, the Kentucky Headhunters, Confederate Railroad, and Travis Tritt with its definitive blend of rock, rhythm and blues, jazz, country, and gospel. Along the way, the band has recorded 22 studio albums, three DVDs, three live albums and many compilations.

During the 1990s, the MTB scored four hit singles on Billboard's country chart and one on Billboard's gospel chart. Their music has also been featured on the soundtracks of movies such as “Smokey and the Bandit,” “Blow,” “The Pursuit of D.B. Cooper,” “Shipwrecked,” “Crank 2,” “Don’t Mess with the Zohan,” “Stop Loss,” “Swing Vote,” “Taking Chance” and many others as well as many TV Shows.

“The buying public never really cared whether we were country or rock and roll," said Gray. "They called us a Southern rock band, but we have always played everything from country, jazz, blues, rock and roll and all things in-between. As we've become older, our Southern heritage seems to come out even more. But, no matter how old we get, we can still rock your socks off."

More than 40 years after forming, The Marshall Tucker Band continues to tour, performing more than 130 live dates each year.

BlackHawk will open the show.

For more than 20 years, BlackHawk, co-founded by Henry Paul and Dave Robbins, has shared a unique sense of harmony with their voices, their songs and their fans. BlackHawk scored some of the most distinctive country radio hits of the 1990s such as "There You Have It," "I'm Not Strong Enough to Say No," "Every Once in a While," “Like There Ain’t No Yesterday," and "That's Just About Right." The band still draws tens of thousands of fans to their electrifying live performances.

In addition to frequent multi-layer sanitization of the venue, new XONAR technology has been installed at Ruth Eckerd Hall that uses thermal imaging sensors to detect elevated body temperature. Appropriate face coverings will be required inside the facility, contact is being minimized and hand sanitizer stations are readily available. For more information, including social safety guidelines, visit www.rutheckerdhall.com/facility-safety-protocols.