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Charlie Daniels Band: Volunteer Jam (DVD)

Many will remember the 1975 film Volunteer Jam featuring the Charlie Daniels Band and a host of other stars of the Southern Rock movement, now finally being released on DVD by the good folks over at Eagle Rock Entertainment. Some of you might ask "why review this DVD here on SoT"? Well, good question, but honestly, after seeing this concert again for the first time in many years, it's pretty obvious that the jam band scene, which we do cover from time to time here at the Sea, and a style of music that has even made its way into some prog and fusion music, got a real kick-start back in 1975 with this legendary show. After all, where could you get the Charlie Daniels Band onstage with members of other hot acts such as The Marshall Tucker Band, The Allman Brothers Band, Wet Willie, and Grinderswitch, all on one stage, playing simply for the sake of the music, in front of thousands of cheering fans? While this concert didn't feature 10 minute guitar solos (a characteristic of the Southern Rock genre for sure), there's plenty of tasty jamming going on, including splendid guitar, organ, fiddle, and bass solos from these fine musicians, as they fused rock with country, bluegrass, blues, and a taste of jazz. It's apparent that all these folks were already very friendly with each other, as there's a sense of closeness you can feel just by watching all the interplay going on, especially between the CDB and the MTB. Watching the late Toy Caldwell rip on the guitar and pedal steel on the MTB classic "Twenty Four Hours" is quite emotional, and you'll get chills on "The Thrill is Gone" when Caldwell, Daniels, and the Allman Brothers Band legend Dickie Betts trade leads on that blues staple, although for some reason Betts looks a little timid and lets the other two players handle the bulk of the action. Other hot songs inlcude "Whisky", "Birmingham Blues", "The South's Gonna Do It (Again)" (all which show just how hot the CDB was in a live setting), and the rousing "Mountain Dew".

This is just all around fun Southern Fried jamming from start to finish that will easily be a welcome addition to Southern Rock and Jam Band fans worldwide. The audio quality is pretty good, as is the video, although the original source was film and fairly dark, so don't expect crystal clear quality. The interview conducted with Daniels as he looks back on this concert is interesting, as he talks about his opinions on the term "Southern Rock" and how most of the bands lumped into this genre never felt they belonged or that it should have been labeled as such. Regardless, this is down-home rock and roll, served up Southern style with plenty of tasty jamming, cowboy hats, and sweat.

Track Listing
1) Intro
2) Whiskey
3) Birmingham Blues
4) Long Haired Country Boy
5) No Place to Go
6) Funky Junky
7) Texas
8) The South's Gonna Do It (Again)
9) Orange Blossom Special
10) Twenty-Four Hours
11) The Thrill is Gone
12) Jelly Blues
13) Sweet Mama
14) Mountain Dew
Bonus Feature-new interview with Charlie Daniels

Added: May 6th 2007
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Eagle Rock Entertainment
Hits: 3151
Language: english

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