At 70 years old, Charlie Daniels is as busy as he’s ever been — and he has no plans of slowing down.
This year, he’s released a CD and DVD, “Live From Iraq,” edited a new collection of essays titled “Growing Up Country,” is in the midst of a summer Volunteer Jam tour and is working on two new albums — including a duets collection that features
Dolly Parton, Gretchen Wilson, Brooks & Dunn, Brad Paisley and others. Fortunately, Daniels says, he operates his own company, Blue Hat Records, that allows him to be as productive as he wants to be.
“I want to spend the rest of my career doing what I want to do,” Daniels explains. “It got to the point with the (major labels) where they wanted to intervene with everything you did. They wanted you to sound like somebody else, which is something I’ve avoided throughout my career.
“So I’m not gonna limit what I do to some box to make some record company executive happy. Let me be the record company executive. I’ll decide — not because I know it all, but because I know the Charlie Daniels Band better than anybody.”
The “Live in Iraq” projects, Daniels says, document one important aspect of the band’s activities — the patriotic, but not political, support of U.S. military personnel, especially those serving overseas.
“I feel the least that I can do,” Daniels explains, “is go over there and kind of grease the wheels a bit and hopefully take them away from the battle environment they’re in for a couple hours.”
And they appreciate it, he says, even if most weren’t close to being born when Daniels had his run of ’70s hits such as “Uneasy Rider,” “The Devil Went Down to Georgia” and “In America.”
“I’m 45, 50 years older than most of them,” he says. “But still and all, they say, ‘Charlie, we appreciate you coming over. We know why you’re here. We thank you for coming.’ And I thank them, ’cause it’s my pleasure, really.”
The Volunteer Jam Tour 2007 with the Charlie Daniels Band, the Marshall Tucker Band and the Outlaws, plays 7 p.m. Saturday (July 7th) at DTE Energy Music Theatre, Sashabaw Road north of I-75, Independence Township. Tickets are $37.50 pavilion, $15 lawn. Call (248) 377-0100 or visit www.palacenet.com.
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