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The Charlie Daniels Band - Live From Iraq
Review By: Jim Moulton, CSO Staff Journalist

Charlie Daniels has always been a patriot's patriot plus a redneck to boot. I was a huge fan of southern rock and the Grateful Dead during the Seventies. Once, I went to see the Marshall Tucker Band in 1976 and Charlie Daniels was opening for them. I had never really heard of Charlie Daniels at the time and they really blew me away, playing a lot of Saddle Tramp and their other popular stuff at that time, over half which is on their just released CD titled Live From Iraq

I have not heard the Charlie Daniels Band live for quite some time, I remember some TV footage from several years ago that I did not like that much. However this CD is quite incredible, both in sound quality and in performance by Charlie and the band. Including himself, there are three original members of the CDB on this disc.

This is just a great sounding recording. Charlie's voice sounds as good as ever and his guitar and fiddle playing are remarkable.

He starts out with a short instrumental then quotes the "Pledge Of Allegiance" and rocks into "In America", a great patriotic southern rocker. You can hear the troops going nuts in the background at times.

There are fourteen songs on the disc, there is also a free DVD with this set which I couldn't see. (no DVD player), I'm sure it's great too, troop interaction in Iraq and concert footage.

"Saddle Tramp" - a slow ballad about a drifter type who never really fits in, most of it is an incredible Allman-esque jam. The duel guitar on here is awesome, plus the drums sound like the studio version from 1976. Bruce Brown plays the guitar part that Tommy Crain used to play, with an organ interlude then Charlie comes in to play a blistering lead on his Les Paul. This jam is so tight. The band performs in army fatigues which is neat looking (Charlie still has his cowboy hat on). At the end, the drums interact with the duel guitars and what can I say, but a "Saddle Tramp" for the ages.

"Simple Man" - An acoustic song about what should be done with child molesters. The crowd explodes during this song. "You know what's wrong with the world today, They done gone and put their Bibles away".

"Iraq Blues" - This is an acoustic blues song about the war. The lyrics are about the troops, the troops love it. The band continues to be incredibly tight.

"Floreeda Road" - This is a bluesy-jazzy instrumental piece that is very melodic and also has an Allman-esque flavor to it. By the way, it is also a new song, not yet released. More incredible drums. 

The CD ends with "The Devil Went Down To Georgia" which the band plain out nails. A great version of one of Charlie's favorite fiddle songs.

I was surprised at how good Charlie and the Band sounded. Seriously, this sounds like how the group did in the seventies. This is a listen that will make you believe in America again.


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