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The Charlie Daniels Band The Charlie Daniels Band
Album: The Epic Trilogy
Label: Floating World
Tracks: 25

The first thing to say about Charlie is that he has great staying power. He is just about to celebrate his 80th birthday and start a 100 date tour. I have no idea what he is on but I would certainly like some of it.

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 on the Youngbloods' Elephant Mountain and Ride the Wind.

Since those early days in Nashville, Charlie has produced and released a plethora of albums and singles. This latest double CD offering comprises a selection of songs taken from three albums; "Honey In The Rock" (1973) Saddle Tramp" (1976) and "Me And The Boys" (1985.)

If you are not familiar with this band you may be wondering what you will get for your hard earned money. Put simply, a collection of Rock/Country music with a driving beat overlaid with a voice that at times sounds like it has pure hillbilly tones whilst others sound like Charlie has spent a hard night on the tiles. This is a man who has strong principles and opinions, not always shared by others, but he does use his music effectively to get his message over.

Never boring or unimaginative, Charlie's music will get your feet tapping perhaps to the detriment of the message. Extensive use of the fiddle really does provide that "Southern" feel and the pictures on the sleeve show a bunch of musicians looking like cowboys and outlaws. However don't worry, they will not run off with your money without offering great value. Images of "Blazing Saddles" come to the fore at times!

Although most of the tracks will provide ideal driving music, Charlie can also do slow as is evidenced in the Don Henley song, "Talking To The Moon." He has written or collaborated on most of the twenty five tracks here so he is certainly not a "one trick pony."

Charlie has never really made it here in the UK but this CD will amply demonstrate what UK music fans have been missing out on. His most recent album "Night Hawk" was released in 2016 almost fifty years since his first release. Now that shows real staying power! He claims that he still loves making music and doing what he does and this is evident in this double package. A man that is totally content with his life and how many people can truly say that?

Suffice to say, that I still love listening to what Charlie does. Long may he continue!

Rory Stanbridge