Inspired by the funky twang of the Allman Brother's pioneering southern rock, fiddler Charlie Daniels formed his own crossover group in the early 1970s, although he was decidedly more country than Gregg, Duane, and their crew. Daniels loves story songs and anthems, and in the early days he used to make fun of good ol' boys in popular tunes like "Uneasy Rider," at least until he realized that smoking pot didn't mean you couldn't be a redneck yourself. Over the years, Daniels has become the same kind of grouchy, ultraconservative caricature as Hank, Jr., tweaking as many liberal noses as he can and rousing the gun-toting NRA faithful to drink another six-pack and let them nosy ACLU types know they just better watch where they step. In between, there were a few woeful twang-prog operettas, though thankfully Daniels left that kind of would-be profundity behind sometime in the '80s.




Discography

Charlie Daniels Band "The Ultimate Charlie Daniels Band" (MCA, 2002)
This 2-CD set covers his career pretty well -- with all the fun early hits and the Bubba-billy stuff that came later on. If the later right-winger anthems don't interest you, you might want to just check out the early albums instead, particularly 1975's Fire On The Mountain, which is probably one of his finer moments.


Charlie Daniels "A Decade Of Hits" (Epic, 1983)


Charlie Daniels "The Roots Remain" (Sony, 1996)
A 3-CD best-of box set...


Charlie Daniels "Essential Super Hits" (Koch Nashville, 2004)
(Produced by Charlie Daniels & Patrick Kelly)

A 2-CD set of rerecorded versions of old hits ("Uneasy Rider," "Devil Went Down To Georgia," et. al. and patriotic anthems ("In America," "This Ain't No Rag..."), along with crowd-pleasers like "Drinkin' My Baby Away" and (ulp!) "Freebird" thrown in for good measure. Travis Tritt joins the old coot for a duet on "Southern Boy," and Daniels shows that he still knows how to shred a violin bow now and then. Also includes several video clips for the faithful...




Albums

Charlie Daniels "Charlie Daniels" (1971)


Charlie Daniels "Te John, Grease And Wolfman" (Buddah, 1972)


Charlie Daniels "Honey In The Rock" (Buddah, 1973) (LP)


Charlie Daniels "Way Down Yonder" (Buddah, 1974) (LP)


Charlie Daniels "Fire On The Mountain" (Epic, 1974)


Charlie Daniels "Nightrider" (Epic, 1975)


Charlie Daniels/Various Artists "Volunteer Jam" (Capricorn, 1976) (LP)


Charlie Daniels "Saddle Tramp" (Epic, 1976)


Charlie Daniels "Pickup Truck Tramp" (Epic, 1976)


Charlie Daniels "High Lonesome" (Epic, 1976)


Charlie Daniels "Whiskey" (Epic, 1977)


Charlie Daniels "Midnight Wind" (Epic, 1977)


Charlie Daniels "Midnight Wind... Plus" (Raven, 1977/2009)


Charlie Daniels/Various Artists "Volunteer Jam III & IV" (Epic, 1978)


Charlie Daniels "Million Mile Reflections" (Columbia, 1979)
One of his biggest hits and one of his least country-sounding albums. Even as he makes fun of disco music on the album's opener, "Passing Lane," Daniels and his boys sure seem pretty captivated by its sound. Daniels's own fiddle is hardly to be heard amid the ZZ Toppish Southern rock rhythms and jittery disco keyboards. If it weren't for the inclusion of "The Devil Went Down To Georgia," which went to the top of the charts, you'd clearly be forgiven if you mistook this album for a late-night coke party with Tom Scott and some of his jazz-fusion pals. I guess it's kind of funky, and "of its time," but I find this disc a little bit scary.


Charlie Daniels "Volunteer Jam VI" (Epic, 1980)


Charlie Daniels "Full Moon" (Epic, 1980)


Charlie Daniels "Volunteer Jam VII" (Epic, 1981)


Charlie Daniels "Windows" (Epic, 1982)


Charlie Daniels "Me And The Boys" (Epic, 1985)


Charlie Daniels "Powder Keg" (Epic, 1987)


Charlie Daniels "Homesick Heroes" (Epic, 1988)


Charlie Daniels "Simple Man" (Epic, 1989)


Charlie Daniels "Christmas Time Down South" (1990)


Charlie Daniels "Renegade" (Sony, 1991)


Charlie Daniels "America, I Believe In You" (Capitol, 1993)


Charlie Daniels "The Door" (Capitol, 1994)


Charlie Daniels "Same Ol' Me" (Capitol, 1995)


Charlie Daniels "Steel Witness" (Sparrow, 1996)


Charlie Daniels "Blues Hat" (Blue Hat, 1997)


Charlie Daniels "By The Light Of The Moon: Campfire Songs & Cowboy Tunes" (Sony Wonder, 1997)


Charlie Daniels "Tailgate Party" (Koch, 1999)


Charlie Daniels "Road Dogs" (Hopesong, 2000)


Charlie Daniels "Live!" (Audium, 2001)


Charlie Daniels "How Sweet The Sound: 25 Favorite Hymns And Gospel Greats" (Sparrow, 2001)


Charlie Daniels "Redneck Fiddlin' Man" (Koch, 2002)


Charlie Daniels "Freedom And Justice For All" (Audium, 2003)


Charlie Daniels "A Merry Christmas To All" (Koch, 2002)


Charlie Daniels "Songs From The Longleaf Pines" (Koch, 2005)


Charlie Daniels "Deuces" (Koch, 2007)


Charlie Daniels "Live From Iraq" (Koch, 2007)


Charlie Daniels "Joy To The World: A Bluegrass Christmas" (2009)


Charlie Daniels "Land That I Love" (Koch Records, 2010)
And... that land would be America, just in case you were wondering. Not Estonia, or Tanzania, or Mongolia, or Seattle... America, people! Capital "U", capital "S", capital "A."


Charlie Daniels "Off The Grid: Doin' It Dylan" (Blue Hat Music, 2014)




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