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article imageInterview with Charlie Daniels, Grammy-winning musician Special

By Markos Papadatos     Aug 18, 2013 in Entertainment
Veteran country and southern rock sensation and multi-instrumentalist Charlie Daniels is one of the few artists that is worthy of the term “living legend.”
Throughout his illustrious career in music, Daniels has been inducted into the Grand Ole Opry in 2008, as well as in the Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum in 2009.
“Getting invited to join the Grand Ole Opry was a lifelong ambition," Daniels said. "I don’t know what the process is or who makes the final choice, but it was a huge honor for me.”
Daniels explained, “Martina McBride came out on a Christmas show we were doing at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville. It was one of those things that will stick in my memory and it is preserved on video for me and I am able to look back on it. The Opry induction was one of the few times in my life when I was stuck for words, since it came from nowhere and I was just shocked. I didn’t even know Martina McBride was even in the building and it didn’t dawn on me what she was doing and then she walked out and opened the envelope and invited me to join the Opry so I thought it was a wonderful thing.”
His signature song “The Devil Went Down to Georgia” reached the top of the Billboard Hot Country Airplay charts on August 25, 1979, and it garnered him a Grammy award for “Best Male Country Vocal Performance.” “We had written and rehearsed material to do an album and we went to the studio to record it but we came to the realization that we did not have a fiddle song, so we decided that we needed one. We took a break from the recording studio and went in to the rehearsal studio and wrote this song. I do not know where the idea came from, but I had the title in my mind ‘The Devil Went Down to Georgia.’ We went back and recorded it three days later and that was it. It was just one of those things that happened,” he said.
He released his latest studio album “Hits of the South” on February 19, 2013, via his record label, Blue Hat Records. This collection includes cover of such classics as The Marshall Tucker Band’s “Can’t You See” and Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Free Bird.” “It’s a bunch of songs from bands that we have toured with other the years and their music become a part of their lives and our music became a part of their lives. Some of the various songs that we heard so much got integrated into our psyche and it was natural for us to record some of them,” he said.
Daniels added, “‘Can’t You See’ and ‘Free Bird’ are signature songs for the bands and the other songs on the CD are favorites of mine. There is such a wide variety to pick from that we could have easily done five albums with all that material.”
The Charlie Daniels Band to perform at NYCB Theatre at Westbury
The Charlie Daniels Band to perform at NYCB Theatre at Westbury
Erick Anderson
On September 7, The Charlie Daniels Band and The Marshall Tucker Band will be playing a concert at the NYCB Theatre at Westbury in Long Island, New York. “We played at that venue so many times since the mid-70s. We always have a great time there and this year we are playing with The Marshall Tucker Band and that’s just a great show for us. It’s a pretty good line-up,” he said.
On sharing the stage with The Marshall Tucker Band, Daniels shared, “We have been touring together since the early days and we continue to play together and it’s very natural for us. It’s like going to see people that you are good friends with that you haven’t seen in a while. Doug Gray and I have a lot of history together and a lot of miles together,” he said.
Daniels is featured as a guest artist on country singer Justin Moore’s upcoming studio album “Off The Beaten Path,” which comes out on September 17 via The Valory Music Company, and they collaborate together on the duet “For Some Ol’ Redneck Reason.” “That felt great. We played a show together in Colorado last year and he asked me if I would consider appearing on one of his songs and I said ‘sure I will.’ He had a song that was up my alley called ‘For Some Ol’ Redneck Reason.’ He called and we got together and did it. Justin’s a good young singer and a he’s nice young man too.”
Country songstress Gretchen Wilson makes an allusion to Charlie Daniels in her smash hit single “Redneck Woman” and he subsequently made a cameo in her music video for “All Jacked Up,” along with Hank Williams Jr.
Regarding his plans for the future, Daniels indicated that he has no signs of slowing down despite being 76 years old. “There will be a lot more touring and I will probably do some more recording later on in the year. That’s all I ever wanted to do: tour and record. I do lot of writing too. I have been working on a biography for a long time and a children’s project that I have been working on for years and hopefully some of these things will reach fruition one of these days. My main thing is writing songs and doing concerts,” he said.
He added, “I just love what I do. I look forward to walking out on stage and entertaining people and playing music each night. That’s my kind of night. I thoroughly enjoy it.”
Although Daniels had a few issues with his health this past year, he noted that he is in good spirits. “I am doing well. I had a few little burps along the road but we are cooking along here,” he said.
For his Long Island fans, Daniels concluded, “Thank you for letting me live my dream. My ultimate desire is to come and entertain you. I look forward to seeing you all at Westbury.”
For more information on music sensation Charlie Daniels, visit his official website.
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