Charlie Daniels BandFriday, November 9, 2018
with the Outlaws
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 80, 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.
The CDB performed 100+ concert dates in 2017, including performances on the Grand Ole Opry and will perform another full concert schedule in 2018.
“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.”
Whether performing in the hit 80s movie Urban Cowboy, singing on Easter Sunday at his local church or leading an all-star cast at one of his famed Volunteer Jams, Charlie just exudes joy whenever he steps on stage and he’s always been quick to provide a platform for other artists to shine. In 1974 he invited some friends to join him at Nashville’s War Memorial Auditorium for an all-star concert he dubbed The Volunteer Jam. The event continued for years and was broadcast in the U.S. and internationally. Over the years, the Jam featured a diverse line up that included Willie Nelson, Ted Nugent, Roy Acuff, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Crystal Gayle, James Brown, Emmylou Harris, Amy Grant, George Thorogood, Kris Kristofferson, Little Richard, Tammy Wynette, Alabama, Oak Ridge Boys, B. B. King and the Allman Brothers.
As diverse as his live shows have always been, his discography has also reflected Charlie’s love of multiple genres. In 1994 he released his first Christian album, The Door, on Sparrow Records. The album won the Gospel Music Association’s Dove Award for Best Country Album and “Two Out of Three” was named video of the year by the Christian Country Music Association. In 1997, Sony Wonder released Charlie’s first children’s album, “By The Light of The Moon: Campfire Songs and Cowboy Tunes’.
An astute businessman as well as talented musician, Charlie launched Blue Hat Records in 1997 with his longtime personal manager David Corlew. The label released such memorable albums as Blues Hat, Tailgate Party, Road Dogs, Fiddle Fire: 25 Years of the Charlie Daniels Band and his first bluegrass album 2005’s Songs From the Longleaf Pines and 2007’s album Deuces, featuring duets with Brad Paisley, Gretchen Wilson, Bonnie Bramlett, Travis Tritt, Dolly Parton, Vince Gill, Brenda Lee and Darius Rucker.
Over the course of his career, Charlie has received numerous accolades, including his induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame, the Musicians Hall of Fame and becoming a member of the Grand Ole Opry. He was presented the Pioneer Award by the Academy of Country Music and was honored as a BMI Icon in recognition of his songwriting. He also received a star on the Music City Walk of Fame.
Any conversation with the legendary artist, however, rarely includes any of his accomplishments. He’d rather shine the spotlight on the many causes that are close to his heart. He’s always been a staunch supporter of the military, and for several years headlined a special concert at David Lipscomb University benefiting the Yellow Ribbon Program which provided scholarships for veterans. Among those who have supported Charlie Daniels for an evening of great music include Luke Bryan, Kellie Pickler, Clint Black, Jason Aldean, Chris Young, Rascal Flatts, Lee Greenwood, Darryl Worley, the Grascals, and actor Gary Sinise.
Charlie also lends his time and talent to numerous other charitable organizations, including the Jason Foundation Golf Classic, an organization that targets teen suicide prevention, and the Galilean Children’s Home in Liberty, KY, which provides a home for abused and neglected children. “I’ve been affiliated with them for a long, long time and it’s just a great place,” Charlie says of the home founded by Jerry and Sandy Tucker. “They take in babies whose mothers are going to prison. They give kids a good stable Christian home and love them. It’s just a wonderful place.”
For many years, Charlie has been the host for The Charlie Daniels Celebrity Golf Classic & Angelus Concert in Hudson, FL, a benefit for The Angelus, a full-time residential facility and day school program for the severely handicapped. He has been a member of the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital Professional Advisory Board and has been a longtime supporter of the T. J. Martell Foundation and its numerous events aiding cancer research. He was the headliner for many years for the Christmas 4 Kids concert at the Ryman Auditorium, a fundraiser that provided a happy holiday for needy children.
Charlie says of using his celebrity status to aid worthy causes, “I have a very unique opportunity because of being in the music community, you try to give back to some extent. I do feel like people should. We should all do as much as we can.”
In 2014, Charlie Daniels with David Corlew and Joe & Mercedez Longever founded The Journey Home Project, a 501(c)(3) non-profit, whose mission is to help the Veterans of the United States Armed Forces.
For Charlie’s birthday in 2016, 3 Doors Down, Luke Bryan, Kid Rock, Chris Stapleton, Travis Tritt, Larry the Cable Guy and more joined him to celebrate the milestone at his 80th Birthday Volunteer Jam on November 30 at Bridgestone Arena. A portion of the proceeds from the sold out concert were donated to the The Journey Home Project.
Charlie’s induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2016, gave him a bookend to his memoir, Never Look At The Empty Seats, an autobiography that was released Oct .24, 2017. The book includes stories about his life, his career, experiences along the way and a wee bit of advice to those who would like to pursue a career in music. Daniels legendary musical career of over 60 years, won him a Grammy Award, earned inductions into the Grand Ole Opry and the Country Music Hall of Fame, and sold over 20 million records.
Memories, Memoirs & Miles - Songs Of A Lifetime-Charlie Daniels current cd that was released Oct. 20th, 2017, chronicles the musical journey of the Country Music Hall of Fame member through the years. In his book, an autobiography / memoir of his life, Charlie writes about his earliest musical influences starting with Bluegrass, then came his days of playing the clubs and honing his craft, entertaining! He then moved to Nashville where he was introduced to session work, playing on three Bob Dylan albums, Nashville Skyline, Self Portrait and New Morning. Then came the CDB years, through Southern Rock and Country, Gospel and Patriotic hits. This album is perfect for listening along while reading his book, “Never Look At The Empty Seats” in which Charlie presents a life lesson for all of us regardless of profession:
“Walk on stage with a positive attitude. Your troubles are your own and are not included in the ticket price. Some nights you have more to give than others, but put it all out there every show. You’re concerned with the people who showed up, not the ones who didn’t. So always give them a show, and never look at the empty seats!”
For The Outlaws, it was always about the music. For 40 years, the Southern Rock legends celebrated triumphs, endured tragedies and survived legal nightmares to remain one of the most influential and best-loved bands of the genre. Now The Outlaws return with new music, new focus and an uncompromising new mission: It’s about a band of brothers bound together by history, harmony and the road. It’s about a group that respects its own legacy while refusing to be defined by its past. But most of all, it’s about pride.
It’s About Pride is the new album from The Outlaws, a record 4 years in the making and perhaps 20 or more in the waiting. And for original Outlaws singer/songwriter/guitarist Henry Paul, it’s a hard-fought revival whose success can be measured in old fans and new music. “Because The Outlaws have been out of the public eye for so long, it’s almost like starting over,” he explains. “But because of the band’s history, we’re seeing this as a new chapter. We’ve written and recorded this album on our own terms, and we’re out to make a significant impression. What our fans loved then they still love now, because we are just as good or even better than we were. Most of all, they recognize the heart of what it is we still do.” For co-founding drummer/songwriter Monte Yoho, the journey is both bittersweet and jubilant. “I still think about the friends we made when we first came into this industry, how we struggled to define this thing that became known as ‘Southern Rock’,” Yoho says. “This new album embodies all the things we shared musically and personally, as well as the relationships we have with our fans to this day. It’s about where we’ve been, where we’re going, and why we still love to do this.”
History lesson: Formed in Tampa in 1972, The Outlaws – known for their triple-guitar rock attack and three-part country harmonies – became one of the first acts signed by Clive Davis (at the urging of Ronnie Van Zant) to his then-fledgling Arista Records. The band’s first three albums The Outlaws, Lady In Waiting and Hurry Sundown – featuring such rock radio favorites as “There Goes Another Love Song”, “Green Grass & High Tides”, “Knoxville Girl” and “Freeborn Man” – would become worldwide gold and platinum landmarks of the Southern Rock era. Known as ‘The Florida Guitar Army’ by their fans, The Outlaws earned a formidable reputation as an incendiary live act touring with friends The Allman Brothers, Lynyrd Skynyrd, The Marshall Tucker Band and The Charlie Daniels Band as well as The Doobie Brothers, The Who, Eagles and The Rolling Stones. Henry Paul left after the group’s third album to form The Henry Paul Band for Atlantic Records, and later the multi-Platinum country trio Blackhawk. Over the next 20+ years, The Outlaws would experience rampant personnel changes, tonal missteps, ill-fated reunions and bitter trademark battles that left fans – not to mention Paul and Yoho – frustrated and saddened. And with the tragic deaths of co-founding members Frank O’Keefe and Billy Jones in 1995, and especially songwriter/vocalist/lead guitarist Hughie Thomasson in 2007, it was feared that The Outlaws’ trail had come to an end.
“The Outlaws were the one area of my career where I had regrets,” admits Paul. “More importantly, I think it was the one area in my career where I thought I still have something to prove. I felt compelled to stick my neck out and take a chance of putting this band back together. I knew we would be judged, but I hoped we would be judged on our abilities.” Along with founding members Paul and Yoho, the band features several of Southern Rock’s most respected veterans: Lead guitarist Billy Crain first developed a fervent following as an original member of The Henry Paul Band and would later become a hit songwriter for The Dixie Chicks, The Bellamy Brothers, Martina McBride and Poco. Co-lead guitarist and longtime Outlaw Chris Anderson is well known for his collaborations with artists that include Dickey Betts, Lucinda Williams, Hank Williams Jr., and Skynyrd. Keyboardist/vocalist Dave Robbins is a co-founding member of Blackhawk and has written hit songs for artists that include Restless Heart, Kenny Rogers and Eric Clapton. Bassist/vocalist Randy Threet has performed with Pam Tillis, Trisha Yearwood and Blackhawk, and is familiar to TV audiences from USA Network’s ‘Nashville Star’. “From the very beginning, our band had a heart,” Monte Yoho says. “And a lot of people who come out and see this incarnation of the band respond to the exact same things we used to put on that stage in the ‘70s and ‘80s.”
On that stage, the band burns hotter than ever: “The Outlaws helped define Southern Rock for me and for generations of fans,” wrote music journalist Bill Robinson in June 2012 in The Huffington Post. “Seeing them onstage with The Charlie Daniels Band, Marshall Tucker Band, Allman Brothers, Lynyrd Skynyrd or countless others was, for a long time, one of the best experiences I could have. And so it was again when I saw The Outlaws play recently.” The Outlaws’ live shows – more than 150 per year – are blazing 2+ hour tributes to the band’s rich history and fiery rebirth. Classic tracks and fan favorites from the first three albums – as well as The Henry Paul Band’s definitive “Grey Ghost” – share the spotlight with songs from the new disc that are already being embraced by audiences. “I think the new songs go back to those first three classic albums, when the band was proud of its influences from country, blues and jazz,” says Billy Crain. “Plus, Chris Anderson and I have honored and maybe even stepped up the legacy of the ‘guitar army’. Fans are coming away from shows feeling a part of the Outlaws experience.”
But it’s the new album – produced by Michael Bush and Henry Paul – that brings the experience home. The disc opens with “Tomorrow’s Another Night”, a scorching take on the band’s history complete with monster harmonies and a killer hook. “Hidin’ Out In Tennessee” delivers classic Outlaws country/bluegrass energy. “Born To Be Bad” is badass biker boogie and “Last Ghost Town” is kickass guitar rock. “Nothin’ Main About Main Street” is an affecting Springsteen/Seger style look at lost small-town life. “The Flame” – Hughie Thomasson’s nickname – is a potent tribute to the much-loved late Outlaw. Chris Anderson’s “Trail Of Tears” electrifies via bitter history, intense vocals and searing guitars. “Right Where I Belong”, “Alex’s Song” and “Trouble Rides A Fast Horse” could easily be lost tracks from any of the band’s first three albums. The disc’s closer, “So Long”, is a haunting re-recording of Henry’s 1979 classic. “It was the first song on the first Henry Paul Band album, and it’s the final song on this record,” explains Paul. “I wanted it to be a sort of coda to the new music, but I also want it to be a relevant part of the new Outlaws landscape. I think it’s one of the best songs I’ve ever written, and I think we’ve done an admirable job of giving it a new personality.” But the new album’s true centerpiece is its title track, co-written by Henry Paul and Billy Crain. “It’s About Pride” is both tribute and testimony from a band that has lived it all, played it all, and returns to reclaim it all.
“I’m proud to be a part of something that started long ago,” Henry Paul sings reflectively, “a Southern band of brothers bound together by the road/They came from Florida, Georgia, Carolina and Tennessee/With old guitars, tattoos and scars, straight from the heart of Dixie/And our rebel pride.” From its towering chorus to its searing guitar-onslaught finale, “It’s About Pride” is a fierce first-person anthem to the genre, delivered with the poignancy and power of absolute survivors. “It’s a very emotional song,” Paul says. “Depending on my mood and the night, sometimes it’s all I can do to get the words out without crying. It summons up a lot of images of people who are no longer with us, of times we shared standing tall together for the first time. When I first wrote the end of the second verse – ‘The reason ‘Sweet Home Alabama’ means so much to me/Is it’s about pride’ – I knew that people would feel a lot of those same emotions. It’s about an accumulated experience of separation, loss and success.” Almost instantly, the song – and the entire album – is classic Southern Rock and classic Outlaws.
Right now, The Outlaws are headed back on the road, back on the radio and back into the hearts of fans nationwide. “I’m seeing this thing we’ve had for four decades be exposed to whole new audiences,” Monte Yoho says. “We’re having a second life as a band, and it feels better than ever. Best of all, I’m still doing it with some of the same people I’ve known for most of my life.”
“I want people to hear this album and see our show and realize that The Outlaws are back,” says Henry Paul. “Our goal is to unite the fans and bring the band back into the light. In a way, this is like a second chance at my first love. It’s about finishing what we started.” For Henry, Monte, Billy, Chris, Dave and Randy, it’s about a band of brothers who love playing their own style of rock, and who 40 years ago first got the chance to take it from Florida to the world.
For The Outlaws, it’s still about the music. And now more than ever, it’s about pride.
Friday, November 9, 2018
Doors Open 6:00 PM
Showtime 8:00 PM
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