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View Full Version : Toy Caldwell (Marshall Tucker Band) - That Tone!!


Blanket Jackson
07-07-2010, 10:28 PM
I was listening to some early Marshall Tucker tonight. Boy, what a fat, sweet tone! I read somewhere that his rig was just 335 or LP > 2 Twin Reverbs > 2 Marshall cabs. I am hearing a bit more gain and compression than I would expect from such a clean amp as the Twin, plus I think I hear some slapback in there too.

Do any of y'all have any insight into how he got that fat Gibby tone?

Tom CT
07-07-2010, 10:52 PM
http://www.flavum.com/Picts/JBL.jpg

+

http://www.flavum.com/Picts/Thumb.jpg

Steve_2020
07-07-2010, 11:01 PM
I was listening to some early Marshall Tucker tonight. Boy, what a fat, sweet tone! I read somewhere that his rig was just 335 or LP > 2 Twin Reverbs > 2 Marshall cabs. I am hearing a bit more gain and compression than I would expect from such a clean amp as the Twin, plus I think I hear some slapback in there too.

Do any of y'all have any insight into how he got that fat Gibby tone?

I was lucky enough to sit on the side of the stage the third time I saw Marshall Tucker Band -large outdoor show in late 70s, possibly early 80s. Scored an all-access pass that I still have somewhere.

Toy played a black Les Paul (might have been a custom, can't remember) through several twin reverbs, stacked on top of each other. No external cabs that I could see, certainly no Marshall cabs -at least at this show. All Fender, what appeared to be 4 to 6 twins, iirc, with splitter cables feeding each one. No pedals. The amps were Loud but- as twins will be- relatively clean...so he got his tone and nice sustain via volume, without much breakup..

He may have had slapback live, can't remember. But he certainly sounded just like Toy Caldwell. An integral part of his sound of course was that he didn't use a pick. Mainly thumb-as-pick with some fingers.

Great concert. The other times I'd seen them they were opening or second bill and always good/very good. On this one they headlined and as great as they ever could be.

MarcJ
07-08-2010, 07:20 AM
I saw Marshall Tucker at a small concert with a low stage in '74 so I was fortunate to see Toy up close. That was a great night and rates up in the top 5 concerts I've ever seen. In those days Toy was playing a mid-seventies tobacco sunburst LP Standard with PAF's... I think I remember some Twin combo's being on stage. Later on he used Twin's mounted in different head cabs and cabinets with JBL's. His thumb technique was amazing and sometimes he would grab a string behind the bridge and put vibrato on it. The thumb certainly was a big part of his warm fat tone.

mad dog
07-08-2010, 10:17 AM
I stood right in front of Toy for the whole set, Charlotteville Speedway in the 70s. LP and a couple twins. There are no words for that sound of his. Great band; they were always on, never a bad show that I saw. And Toy was never less than amazing.

MD

Steve_2020
07-08-2010, 10:48 AM
I stood right in front of Toy for the whole set, Charlotteville Speedway in the 70s. LP and a couple twins. There are no words for that sound of his. Great band; they were always on, never a bad show that I saw. And Toy was never less than amazing.

MD

+1. The first time I saw them was on an early 1970s three act bill (common in those days) with Charlie Daniels Band also as support and the Allman Brothers headlining.

Marshall Tucker/Toy and Charlie's band were both very on that night, but in those days (as usually now) the best sound/volume was saved for the headliner. That's just show biz.

Amazingly, even with the headliner slot and the kickin sound, it took the Allmans a few or more tunes to hit their stride in that big hall- while Tucker and Daniels hit the stage running - just with lesser PA.

The show I mentioned in my first post was a 15-20,000 people festival type event. Marshall Tucker Band headlining and all the great sound/PA any band could hope for.

As you say, that band and Toy were always on no matter where they played, what billing etc.

Dawg76
07-08-2010, 10:57 AM
The thumb certainly was a big part of his warm fat tone.


^^^^

Saw the original MTB only once (1977). One great live band.

Even the the 'non-rockers' like "In My Own Way", Toy's style shines.

sgsupremep90
07-08-2010, 11:35 AM
Agree on the awesome tone. And further, his lead style is appealing for great phrasing, good reference to the melody and a spare use of notes - just right in my opinion. Can we say "the whole package?"

HammyD
07-08-2010, 12:08 PM
I think I must have been 15 or 16 when I got to jam with him and his brother Tommy at Joe Bennetts music store. Toy had a Les Paul, a Goldtop with Mini's (I think) and played through a Fender amp. Probably a Pro or a Deluxe. He sounded the same at low volume as he did at high volume when he was using two twins. It was the thumb and his phrasing.

Remarkably kind and gracious gentleman as was Tommy.

BTY Joe is a monster player himself. I felt like I was amidst giants!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VGBXHCGFOgw

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=66dmIC7LIYE&feature=related

zombywoof
07-08-2010, 12:18 PM
It was his magic thumb.

billdurham
07-08-2010, 01:24 PM
If you look closely, the strokes are always down with that thumb as well.. amazing!

Rod
07-08-2010, 04:55 PM
Some of the key to Toy's great tone was the fact that he played very aggressively and used his thumb

Rotten
07-08-2010, 05:02 PM
I've got a nice Les Paul, an R7. I'm wondering if the the combo with the Twin Reverb is an underappreciated gem. Seems the midrange oomph of a Les Paul would work nicely with the Twin's clean, hard to overdrive sound. I'm gonna check out Toy's tone.

SnidelyWhiplash
07-08-2010, 05:11 PM
Been a fan of Toy's for years. Sadly,never got to hear him live. His tone was
fantastic.

R.I.P.

Rod
07-08-2010, 05:25 PM
I've got a nice Les Paul, an R7. I'm wondering if the the combo with the Twin Reverb is an underappreciated gem. Seems the midrange oomph of a Les Paul would work nicely with the Twin's clean, hard to overdrive sound. I'm gonna check out Toy's tone.

Oh, it will work, but you gottta turn the Twin up to 6 to get it going, and play the guitar hard...Mike Bloomfield used the same set up....