I’ve been a big fan of The Charlie Daniels Band for as long as I can remember. “The Devil Went Down to Georgia” is on my list of favorite songs of all time and Daniels has a string of hits as long as my arm over the course of a career that’s spanned parts of five decades.
Daniels celebrates his 79th birthday later this month and is showing no signs of slowing down. His latest offering is the sizzling “Live at Billy Bob’s Texas,” a terrific 14-track, 71-minute concert recording that shows the venerable fiddler still has plenty of gas left in the tank.
The show was recorded last February at the iconic Billy Bob’s — billed as the World’s Largest Honky Tonk — and Daniels and his current band (Bruce Brown, Shannon Wickline, Charlie Hayward, Pat McDonald and Chris Wormer) give it their all, much to the delight of the enthusiastic audience.
The set list features a slew of CDB standards — “The Legend of Wooley Swamp,” “El Toreador,” “In America,” “Long Haired Country Boy,” “The South’s Gonna Do It (Again)” and, of course, “The Devil Went Down to Georgia” — plus a pair of first-rate Bob Dylan covers (“Tangled Up in Blue,” “I’ll Be Your Baby Tonight”) and spirited takes on Johnny Cash’s “Folsom Prison Blues” and the hymn “How Great Thou Art.”
“Live at Billy Bob’s” is a must for anyone who loves The Charlie Daniels Band. After decades of recording and performing, Daniels & Co. are the consummate entertainers. (Jeffrey Sisk)