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Marshall Tucker Band set to hit Thunder Valley

San Francisco Giants pitcher Madison Bumgarner took the mound to “Fire on the Mountain,” a Marshall Tucker Band song.
San Francisco Giants pitcher Madison Bumgarner took the mound to “Fire on the Mountain,” a Marshall Tucker Band song. jvillegas@sacbee.com

The Marshall Tucker Band, playing Thunder Valley Friday, has assumed a new level of cultural currency.

It’s not because of a sudden resurgence of Southern-rock popularity, or because the band has a hot new recording. It is because of Madison Bumgarner, the San Francisco Giants pitcher who capped his year with a World Series ring and an MVP trophy. His take-the-mound song, “Fire on the Mountain,” is Tucker Band staple, and one that predates his birth.

The band is still led today by original singer Doug Gray. There never was a Marshall Tucker, at least not one associated with the band. They were named after a piano tuner who had left a key ring in one of their old rehearsal spaces. It proved a happy find as the band landed on the charts with songs such as “Heard It in a Love Song,” “Can’t You See” and “Take the Highway” – all still in rotation on classic-rock stations. (8:30 p.m.; $32.75, $42.75; www.thundervalleyresort.com)

Rascals to Cache Creek

Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Felix Cavaliere brings his latest group of Rascals to Cache Creek on Saturday. The Rascals scored big in the late ’60s with “Groovin’,” “Good Lovin’” and “People Got To Be Free.” And the whole hippy world grooved to “A Beautiful Morning.”

One thing the Rascals had that so many other groups of the time lacked was a sense of showmanship that revealed itself in their on-stage antics (like drumstick twirling) and flamboyant vocals. That inspired many who came after them, including Vanilla Fudge. Another thing they had that others lacked was Cavaliere, an exceptionally talented songwriter.

Soon after their start, the Rascals had their name challenged and had to change it to the Little Rascals because of a popular group at the time often seen on television, Johnny Puleo’s Harmonica Rascals. Oldsters will remember the Puleo group, but there is no doubt today who is remembered more. (8 p.m.; $29.95; www.cachecreek.com)

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