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by: Charlie Daniels Band

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I could not have imagined a better DVD from our old friends The Charlie Daniels Band. In this, their first ever concert DVD, we get a full length, absolutely smoking live set from Charlie Daniels, Joel "Taz" DiGregorio, Charlie Hayward, Bruce Brown, Pat McDonald, Chris Wormer an Carolyn Corlew, along with a truck load of excellent bonus features. This one will have you grinning from ear to ear and tapping your foot from beginning to end.

The show, filmed in Nashville on July 4th, 2005 is an excellent mix of CDB hits, both old and more recent, country, rock and gospel. From the Mexicalli feel of "El Toreador" to the timeless jam of "Trudy" and Charlie's tip of the hat to our old friend Dale Earnhardt, "The Intimintor," the DVD rocks. There are a pair of wonderful gospel songs, "Preachin,' Prayin,' Singin" and "Heart of My Heart" from Charlie's latest record Songs from The Longleaf Pines. Of course the classics are here, sounding as good as ever, "In America," "The South's Gonna Do It Again," "Long Haired Country Boy" and "The Devil Went Down to Georgia," and there's this absolutely cool jazz instrumental called "Floreeda Road" that spotlights each of the band members. Pat turns in one of the best drum solos I've seen on film in a while, and Chris Wormer (welcome back buddy) is amazing on that guitar. But then again, so is Bruce...and Charlie can still play guitar like a ringin' a bell.

"Orange Blossom Special" is always a show stopper, and I've always enjoyed the way Charlie does the "duels" with each of the band members. By the time he duels Chris, it is faster than Earnhard, Jr. coming up on the checkered flag. Amazing.

There is a great "Vintage" segment, with lots of vintage photos of Charlie when he was in The Jaguars (I tell my friends Charlie used to be Drew Carey in the old days), and great old pics of The CDB and friends like Toy Caldwell, Dickey Betts and James Brown. There is some black and white footage from the 1975 Volunteer Jam Movie (a film that really should be remastered and put out on DVD) and just a lot of great scenes with Tommy Crain, Freddie Edwards and the guys.

There's a great segment of Charlie's visit with Military personnel overseas, and a couple of great full length music videos including "Texas" with guests Ray Benson and Lee Roy Parnell, and a cool bluegrass number featuring Charlie, Mac Weisman and Earl Scruggs.

Now how much would you pay? Well, it's a lot of good music and video for less than it costs to take your girlfriend to a movie. A lot less, in fact. So buy the DVD, make some hot chocolate, put another log on the fire, and tell sweet thang that tonight is gonna be special- we're gonna have The Charlie Daniels Band live in our den for a private show. A real Holiday treat.

-Michael Buffalo Smith

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