Monday, January 07, 2008

Huckabee's band opened for Charlie

An interesting bit of information from the official Mike Huckabee for President site --

"Huckabee, 51, enjoys playing bass guitar in his rock-n-roll band, Capitol Offense, which has opened for artists such as Willie Nelson and the Charlie Daniels Band, and has played the House of Blues in New Orleans, the Red Rocks Amphitheater in Denver, CO and for two presidential inauguration balls."

His band regularly covers Lynyrd Skynyrd and has also opened for .38 Special.

No word yet if the Huckabee Campaign Trail will overlap with the Volunteer Jam.

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Saturday, January 05, 2008

Get Ready: Volunteer Jam '08. .38 Shooter!

Charlie Daniels taps Shooter Jennings, .38 Special for Volunteer Jam

January 3, 2008 11:01 AM
Charlie Daniels has nailed down a run of spring/summer dates for his annual Volunteer Jam tour, which will also feature fellow country rocker Shooter Jennings and .38 Special .

The outing is scheduled to launch April 11 with a two-night stand in Harris, MI, according to Jennings' website, which lists about 15 US shows from coast-to-coast through mid-August. The itinerary is included below.

The hard-touring Charlie Daniels Band also has dates scheduled in between and on either side of Volunteer Jam. Those can be found at Daniels' website.

The veteran performer, who is set to be inducted into the Grand Ole Opry Jan. 19, is supporting his latest album, "Deuces," which surfaced in October. The record features Daniels performing duets of his own hits as well as country, pop and R&B classics with stars including Brad Paisley, Travis Tritt, Vince Gill and Dolly Parton.

Jennings, also known for his relentless touring ethic, is currently spending time at home with his newborn daughter but expects to be back on the road next month. He is supporting his third album, "The Wolf," which hit the streets in October and debuted at No. 52 on The Billboard 200.

Veteran Southern rockers .38 Special also have their own dates scheduled around Volunteer Jam as they continue to tour their hits and support their latest set, 2004's "Drivetrain." The band's full schedule is listed at its website.

Daniels started Volunteer Jam in 1974 to record "Fire on the Mountain" in front of a live audience. The performer's friends joined in for a jam at that Nashville concert and the rest is history.

September saw the release of the "Volunteer Jam" DVD, which captures the classic Charlie Daniels Band lineup performing a 1975 concert featuring guest appearances by Dickey Betts and Chuck Leavell of the Allman Brothers Band, Jimmy Hall from Wet Willie, Dru Lombar from Grinderswitch and the Marshall Tucker Band. Bonus features include a 2007 interview with Daniels.

[Note: The following tour dates have been provided by artist and/or tour sources, who verify its accuracy as of the publication time of this story. Changes may occur before tickets go on sale. Check with official artist websites, ticketing sources and venues for late updates.]

Volunteer Jam dates:

April 2008
11-12 - Harris, MI - Island Resort and Casino
18 - West Palm Beach, FL - Sound Advice Amphitheater
19 - Cypress Gardens, FL - Cypress Gardens Adventure Park
26 - Kinder, LA - Coushatta Casino Pavilion

May 2008
3 - Sevierville, TN - Smokies Stadium
10 - Valdosta, GA - Wild Adventures
16 - Myrtle Beach, SC - House of Blues
17 - Tuscumbia, AL - Alabama Music Hall of Fame
31 - Las Vegas, NV - Orleans Arena

June 2008
20 - Champion, PA - Seven Springs Mountain Resort
21 - Gilford, NH - Meadowbrook U.S. Cellular Pavilion

July 2008
4 - Blue Ash, OH - Blue Ash Sports Center

August 2008
8 - Sedalia, MO - Missouri State Fair
9 - West Allis, WI - Wisconsin State Fair
12 - Des Moines, IA - Iowa State Fair

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Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Southern Rock Pioneer Hughie Thomasson Dies in Florida



Guitarist Founded the Outlaws and Later Joined Lynyrd Skynyrd
By: Chet Flippo

One of the pre-eminent Southern rock guitarists has died. Hughie Thomasson went out to dinner with his wife Mary on Sunday (Sept. 9), went home, got comfortable in his favorite chair to watch football and then passed away from a heart attack during a nap. He was 55 and lived in Brooksville, Fla., near Tampa.

Born Hugh Edward Thomasson Jr., Hughie Thomasson joined a fledging Tampa-area bar band named the Outlaws in the late '60s. With David Dix on drums, Thomasson quickly made a name for himself as a no-nonsense guitar master. The group disbanded, but Thomasson reformed the Outlaws in 1972 with guitarist Henry Paul, drummer Monte Yoho and bassist Frank O'Keefe. (Paul later enjoyed a successful country career as a member of BlackHawk.) Guitarist Billy Jones joined in 1973.Known as the "Florida Guitar Army" for their triple-lead guitar attack, the Outlaws were the first group signed to former Columbia Records head Clive Davis when he formed Arista Records. Davis signed them on the spot when he saw them play a small Georgia club.

Their 1975 debut album The Outlaws quickly sold gold, and they were signed as the opening act on the Doobie Brothers' Stampede tour. The band went on to record 13 albums in all, with such hits as "Green Grass and High Tides" and "Hurry Sundown," both of which Thomasson wrote. His signature Fender Stratocaster guitar sound and vocals came to define the group.

The Outlaws disbanded in the mid-'90s when Thomasson joined Lynyrd Skynyrd. He added his distinctive guitar sound to Skynyrd's robust lineup and co-wrote many of the band's later songs. In 2005, Thomasson left Skynyrd and reformed the Outlaws with drummers Yoho and Dix, bassist Randy Threet and guitarist Chris Anderson.

They toured extensively this year and performed with the Charlie Daniels Band, the Marshall Tucker Band and Dickey Betts and also played a festival in Amsterdam with Aerosmith.

The Outlaws' last concert took place Saturday (Sept. 8) at a casino in Nevada, and they had 15 concert dates scheduled through mid-December of this year.

A final, completed album, tentatively titled Once an Outlaw, which Thomasson produced, has not yet been scheduled for release.

Thomasson had also planned to re-release his solo album, So Low, under the new title, Lone Outlaw.

Memorial plans were incomplete as of Tuesday afternoon (Sept. 11).

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Sunday, June 10, 2007

CDB Volunteer Jam 2007 - Shoreline Amphitheatre Recap

I just returned from the Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View, California and here is the recap. I was able to go with three friends of mine, which was great, since originally I was only going with one. Thanks to Ginger Ambrose from the CDB Volunteers, who sent me a couple of extra meet and greet passes, there was room for more so my buddy Mike and his wife Melissa went along with Scott, who had never had the privilege of seeing the CDB. It's always fun to bring a newcomer to the music, because they inevitably become fans, and even better when they get to meet Charlie. It's like never having tasted chocolate then getting to meet Willie Wonka at the factory.

The show started at six and right on schedule the Outlaws opened up the show with Ghost Riders in the Sky. They played a few of their hits including Green Grass and High Tides, along with a new one called Rippin through Kentucky, Almost Home, and Trail of Tears. They closed their set with Hurry Sundown. It was a great set, although it seemed short, and I may have missed a song or two from the set list. Hughie Thomasson and company were in great form, and were joined on two songs by David Muse from The Marshall Tucker Band and Pat McDonald from the CDB, who added two the drum corps (they play with two sets) by banging on the bongos. This is a great guitar band, and worth catching these guitar virtuosos play it like they meant it. It was cool to see Hughie Thomasson leading his own band, since the only time I'd seen him before was as a sideman for Skynyrd. Check out Outlaws tour dates at their website, Outlawsworld.com.

Next up was the incomparable Marshall Tucker Band, who started their set with This Ol' Cowboy. Doug Gray was on vocals and in between songs joked with the sizable crowd about his age (59) and his ex-wives (>1). They have a new album coming out June 19th called The Next Adventure. This is what was posted from a similar set on the MTB message boards, and it seems to jive pretty well with what we heard:

This Ol' Cowboy
Dog Eat Dog World
Fire on the Mountain
Hillbilly Band
Georgia Moon
Can't You See

Chris Hicks played guitar and sang on a solo song he has worked up called Dog Eat Dog World for an album to be released by Sony. He's an outstanding musician, with a real feel for the blues. We had to leave right after Fire on the Mountain to go backstage and visit with Charlie, so unfortunately missed some of the MTB set.

We lined up by one of Charlie's tour buses called the TPR II (Twin Pines Ranch, I guess) and waited in line for a while with other lucky folks, to meet Charlie and get some pictures signed that were handed out by none other than Mr. Dean Tubbs. There was a a curtain opened to the stage, so we had a glimpse of the MTB playing Can't You See.

We were moved to a crowded trailer to wait to meet Charlie as the MTB played for the masses, and slowly made it up to Charlie, who was kind enough to sign the pictures Dean had presented us. We snapped a quick picture and made it out of there with just a little bit of chit-chat with Charlie. I mentioned how I was sorry I hadn't made it to the fan club party last week, and Charlie said I should come next year, something I really hope to be able to do one of these days. Mike wished him a happy birthday, and Charlie thanked him and pointed out that his birthday had been in October, but he'd been out of the country and they just celebrated it at the fan club party. A side note here, that if you ever want to go to a BBQ and private party with the band, that it would be possible if you would join the fan club. It's every year in June in Charlie's hometown. That kind of accessibility is one of the many reasons I love the CDB and try to keep this site up.

After that, we were shuttled out, and Mike was able to snap a picture of the Marshall Tucker Band finishing their set.

By the time we got some garlic fries the show was about to begin, and it opened with a bang with Drinkin' My Baby Goodbye. Here's the complete set list:

Drinkin' My Baby Goodbye
El Toreador
Money
Simple Man
Wooley Swamp
Trudy
The Pledge of Allegiance and In America
Floreeda Road (with David Muse from the MTB on Sax)
Long Haired Country Boy
How Great Thou Art
Rocky Top -- Charlie on Fiddle
The Devil Went Down to Georgia
The South's Gonna Do It Again (with the Outlaws and the Marshall Tucker Band)

Notice that Charlie played a few songs from the Full Moon album, including Money, which was a first for me to hear in concert.

Also worth mentioning was the incredible drum solo by Pat McDonald in Floreeda Road. Pat is a maniac and it is amazing to see him work the skins in such a large venue that seemed to tax their ample sound system. Not to take anything from the rest of the band, but to see people unable to keep their seats for a drum solo was quite something. It proved why the CDB doesn't need two drummers when this one can play as well as any three, and stats from the US Geological Survey registered it a 4.7 on the Richter Scale. Fans are looking forward to the release of the CD with a studio version of Floreeda Road and another Chris Wormer vehicle -- The Flight of the Bumblebee. That should be interesting!

The show wrapped up with Charlie bringing all three bands together to play the CDB standard The South's Gonna Do It Again, and it was like watching a nuclear bomb detonate with all the musicians playing at once.

It was the closest thing to a Southern Rock Symphony that Northern California has heard.

Hopefully, it won't be the last.

More pictures of the event. are available here.

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Saturday, May 05, 2007

Volunteer Jam DVD Review

Music DVD Review: The Charlie Daniels Band Volunteer Jam

Written by Richard Marcus
Published May 04, 2007

Back in the early 1970's there was a rebirth of sorts that happened in Rock and Roll music in the United States. Rock and Roll got its birth in the United States in the South when people like Elvis and Jerry Lee Lewis started to combine the country music they grew up listening to, with the Blues music that Black people were playing all around them.

The resulting Sun Records recordings were nothing short of revolutionary in the impact they had on popular music in the States. In those days the business of Rock and Roll was still pretty innocent. There weren't many marketing executives around then packaging performers and pasting label on their music. I mean how could you have a cross over hit between Country and Rock and Roll when that's exactly what you're playing, Country and Rock and Roll.

I don't think those original Sun Record touring shows of Elvis, Jerry Lee, Buddy Holly, The Big Bopper, Johnny Cash, and whoever else they crammed into the cars and buses that took them around, were even called Rock and Roll shows. If anything they toured under the banner of Sun Records and the name of the sponsor.

Even though all of them were from well below the Mason Dixon line, calling what they did something like Southern Rock was as alien to them as calling it Afro-Cuban. Twenty years later one could see how much the industry had changed when a group of bands who had far less in common musically than the groups from Sun Records did, were lumped together as Southern Rock.

Charlie Daniels, of The Charlie Daniel Band, in an interview done this year for the release of the DVD of his 1975 Volunteer Jam, made the same point. He said that while they may all have been born in the same part of the world, The Marshall Tucker Band, Lynyrd Skynyrd, The Allman Brothers, and Z. Z. Top never played music that could have been call similar. He could never understand why they were all called Southern Rock.

That being said, because they were all from the same part of the world, friendships struck up between the bands. So when the Charlie Daniels Band was doing its second "Volunteer Jam" in 1975 the invited guests included The Marshall Tucker Band, a couple of friends from the Allman Brothers and a variety of friends from other bands like Wet Willie.

In 1974 the Charlie Daniels Band needed to record a couple of songs for an upcoming album in a live situation, so they rented a small hall in Nashville Tennessee, invited some of their friends along to have fun after they had laid down the tracks they needed for the album. They called it Volunteer Jam in honour of the state of Tennessee whose slogan is, The Volunteer State.

That first one was so successful, that they decided to do it again in 1975, this time in their hometown of Murfreesboro Tennessee. The concert was made into a feature film and released in 1976 called Volunteer Jam. Now twenty – one years later it is being released on DVD for the first time.

In 1975 Charlie Daniels and his band were riding high on the strength of their hits "Long Haired Country Boy", "No Place To Go", and "The South's Gonna Do It (Again)" and were able to attract large audiences, especially in the South. So when the Volunteer Jam was announced it quickly sold out a 14,000-seat arena

For anybody who wants to see the epitome of good classic 70's rock roll, watching the DVD Volunteer Jam should be required viewing. Multiple guitars, keyboards, elaborate bass playing, and lots of drums were all staples of the period. The music is loud, rowdy, and live; you won't see any sign of a drum machine or tape loops on this stage.

The only costume anybody is wearing is blue jeans and the occasional cowboy hat. There's no elaborate stage show, only stacks and stacks of speakers. The music is being played by people who love what they're doing and it shows in how much they appreciate each other's efforts and the amount of pure fun that they're having.

What was even better was that nobody fell into the Rock God trap that was too common in those days and went off into twenty-minute solo. Everybody, including the special guests, played like they were members of a band, and the band's performance was the priority not their own egos.

It doesn't mean that these people aren't gifted players, because they are, in fact, I had forgotten how good the members of The Charlie Daniels Band are. From the bass player who can play any style demanded of him, the guitarist who can somehow make his instrument sound like a fiddle without a synthesizer so he can do a fiddle duet with Charlie, the piano player who plays piano not keyboards, the drummers who can keep time and be elaborate, and Charlie who plays an amazing violin and not bad slide guitar.

If there's a drawback or an unfortunate part of this disc it's the fact that it was originally shot on film back in 1975. There's only so much you can do with digital transfer techniques for sound and picture quality, so occasionally neither are what you'd what them to be. But considering the fact it was a live concert twenty-two years ago you can't really complain.

The one thing that did bother me was nowhere on the packaging, or on the disc are there band credits. They list the names of all the performers, but I couldn't have told Dru Lombar from Jimmy Hall if my life depended on it. At the least they could have supplied a song-by-song breakdown of who did what in the liner notes, or added on credits at the end of DVD to that effect.

But aside from that, there isn't much to complain about with Volunteer Jam; it may not be Southern Rock, but it sure is a great example of classic 1970's Rock and Roll.

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Wednesday, January 31, 2007

In case you missed it: VOLUNTEER JAM TOUR 2007 ANNOUNCED

Charlie Daniels - News

THE CHARLIE DANIELS BAND "VOLUNTEER JAM TOUR 2007" ANNOUNCED!!!

Charlie Daniels, leader of the Charlie Daniels Band, has announced the legendary Volunteer Jam Tour will, once again, hit cities all across America.

The Volunteer Jam started back in 1974 when Daniels wanted to record Fire On The Mountain in front of a live audience. The War Memorial Auditorium in downtown Nashville set the stage as Daniels' friends joined in on a "jam" that year. The jam has been going ever since.

The Charlie Daniels Band Volunteer Jam Tour 2007 will feature The Marshall Tucker Band along with The Outlaws and kicks off April 28th in Valdosta, Georgia, where it will continue through Oklahoma City, Tampa, Birmingham, Nashville, Denver, Salt Lake City, Phoenix, and many other cities to soon be announced.

April 28 - Valdosta, GA - Wild Adventures
May 4 - Thackerville, OK - Winstar Casino
May 5 - Oklahoma City, OK - Zoo Amphitheatre
May 11 - Tampa, FL - Ford Amphitheatre
May 12 - West Palm Beach, FL - Sound Advice Amphitheatre
May 18 - Birmingham, AL - Verizon Wireless Music Center
May 19 - Nashville, TN - Starwood Amphitheatre
May 31 - Denver, CO - City Lights Pavilion
June 1 - Salt Lake City, UT - USANA Amphitheatre
June 2 - Las Vegas, NV - The Aladdin Theatre
June 3 - Phoenix, AZ - Cricket Pavilion
June 7 - Pala, CA - The Starlight Theatre
June 8 - Chula Vista, CA - Coors Amphitheatre
June 9 - Kelseyville, CA - Konocti Harbor Resort
June 10 - Mountainview, CA - Shoreline Amphitheatre
July 20 - St. Clairsville, OH - Jamboree In The Hills
July 27 - Gilford, NH - Meadowbrook Musical Arts Center
July 28 - Wallingford, CT - Chevrolet Theatre

Daniels career as a professional musician began in the 1950's with the Misty Mountain Boys and he went on to form The Charlie Daniels Band in 1970. He has recorded countless hits, has sold over 18 million albums in his career, won numerous awards and has millions of fans around the world. He won the Grammy for Best Country Vocal for his classic "Devil Went Down to Georgia."

The Charlie Daniels Band "Volunteer Jam" 2007 is being booked exclusively by William Morris Agency.

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