From his Dove Award winning gospel albums to his genre-defining Southern rock anthems and his CMA Award-winning country hits, few artists have left a more indelible mark on America’s musical landscape than Charlie Daniels. An outspoken patriot, beloved mentor to young artists and still a road warrior at age 81, Charlie has parlayed his passion for music into a multi-platinum career and a platform to support the military, underprivileged children and others in need.
Raised among the longleaf pines of North Carolina, Charlie began his career playing bluegrass music with the Misty Mountain Boys. After moving to Nashville in 1967, he began making a name for himself as a songwriter, session musician and producer. Elvis Presley recorded a tune Charlie co-wrote titled “It Hurts Me,” which was released on the flip side of “Kissin’ Cousins.” He played on such landmark albums as Bob Dylan’s Nashville Skyline and tried his hand at producing the Youngbloods’ Elephant Mountain and Ride the Wind.
His own unique voice as an artist emerged as Charlie recorded his self-titled solo album in 1970 for Capitol Records. Two years later he formed the Charlie Daniels Band and the group scored its first hit with the top ten “Uneasy Rider.” Since then the CDB has populated radio with such memorable hits as “Long Haired Country Boy,” “The South’s Gonna Do It Again,” “In America,” “The Legend of Wooley Swamp” and of course, his signature song, “The Devil Went Down to Georgia,” which won a Grammy for Best Country Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group in 1979 as well as single of the year at the Country Music Association Awards.
“I love what I do,” says Charlie of his 60-plus years in the music business. “I look forward to entertaining people. When show time gets here, I’m ready to go, ready to go play for them. It’s a labor of love. I just thank God I make a living at what I enjoy doing.”
Daniels’ latest studio album, Beau Weevils – Songs in the key of E, was released October 2018 and features lead vocals, guitar and fiddle by Daniels, James Stroud on drums and percussion, Billy Crain on guitar, and Charlie Hayward on bass.
“Beau Weevils – Songs in the Key of E is the culmination of a long held desire of James Stroud and myself to do a project together,” says Daniels. “We had worked together, with James in the capacity of producer, which had resulted in some of our most successful albums for The Charlie Daniels Band, but James is one of the finest and most soulful drummers in the business and I figured we could get together, musician to musician, and come up with something special. We just needed a vehicle in the form of songs that would fit the bill.”
Daniels describes the new recordings as “Downhome, Swampy Rock meets Funk with a little taste of ‘Delta’ type of style.”
Shortly after, Daniels released new book that shares his signature wit and powerful lessons that he’s learned from traveling and playing all around the world. Let’s All Make the Day Count: The Every Day Wisdom of Charlie Daniels (Thomas Nelson, Nov. 6, 2018) is an entertaining and impactful book for those who have enjoyed his daily “let’s all make the day count” tweets and want to hear more personal stories from his life.
“I have leaned heavily on my personal journey and the times I’ve knocked my head against various walls through the years while learning life’s lessons,” Daniels said. “I’ve excerpted segments of my highest and lowest times, my most devastating defeats and most rewarding victories, and how I’ve come to truly value making the day count, every single day.”
Let’s All Make the Day Count includes 100 readings that cover such topics as starting again after loss; standing your ground; how to be successful; how to show people you care; choosing your words carefully; and many more. Daniels accompanies every story with a Bible verse and a short takeaway.
Daniels also released a companion CD of the same name on Nov. 2, available exclusively at Walmart stores, released by Blue Hat Records, distributed by BFD.
The Charlie Daniels Band will perform 100+ concert dates in 2019 with no signs of slowing down.