The Charlie Daniels Band

The Charlie Daniels Band

The Live Record

Blue Hat

Many rock fans can earnestly claim they do not like country music, but who can honestly say they don’t love “The Devil Went Down to Georgia”? It just can’t be done. While it may not be the live music long-running wisecrack that “Freebird” is (is this a bad time to mention that the CDB actually perform a seven-minute version on this recording?), it is one of the quintessential Southern rock songs that sounds just as great today as it did over 20 years ago when it topped both the country and pop charts.

Charlie Daniels’ 30+ years of recording resulting in 30+ albums comes to life on this recording featuring 15 CDB songs. Having been covered by artists from Elvis to Primus, Charlie’s music should be a stranger to no one. I caught the stout 65-year-old in his element, so I can attest to the fact that his live show is a raucous event. This CD captures the affable showman’s fiery fiddle-playing as well as his idiomatic between-song-banter. The concert this was recorded and clearly took place before September 11, because although his song “In America” appears on this CD; it has taken on new meaning since the attacks. Initially written in response to the Iran hostage crisis, it speaks to the heart of all them flag-wavin’, “God Bless America” bumper sticker-sportin’ types written in a fit of Southern-style patriotism. “This lady may have stumbled/But she ain’t never fell/And if our enemies don’t believe that/They can all go straight to hell.” And wouldn’t you know it that when you buy this album online, it comes with the post-9/11 single “This Ain’t No Rag It’s a Flag,” which is the newest staple of the live show.

Of course, while his Southern rebel roots remain true, as exemplified in his mini set covering tunes by Marshall Tucker, the Allmans, and Skynyrd, Charlie does shy away from his rebel-rousing during his 1974 hit, “Long Haired Country Boy.” The original version finds Charlie singing “I get stoned in the morning, I get drunk in the afternoon,” but the pious Daniels of today dilutes it by singing “I get up in the morning, I get down in the afternoon.” Fortunately, the disc closes with the two best CDB songs ever, and damn fine songs of all-time, “Drinkin’ My Baby Goodbye” and “The Devil Went Down to Georgia.” You’d think that after playing that song so many times over all these years, that beguiling devil would’ve learned by now.

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