Random Records: Charlie Daniels Band – Way Down Yonder

Here’s a feature I haven’t done in a while, and I know I promised a Kasey Anderson live thing, but due to technical problems that will have to wait until tomorrow (hopefully). Now, I dug this album out yesterday while giving the basement a much needed cleaning. I don’t know if I have ever even listened to this one before, but man it was the perfect album for that moment.

Now most of you fine folks out there are probably familiar with Charlie Daniels, and hopefully your familiarity extends beyond “Devil Went Down To Georgia”. Now don’t get me wrong, I love Devil Went Down to Georgia. What person my age doesn’t. I Guarantee you every one of us in our early 30’s have childhood memories of singing “Granny does your dog bite no child no!!!”. No….just me…? Well regardless, the Charlie Daniels well is much deeper than that.

You see by the time Urban Cowboy came along and propelled “Devil Went Down To Georgia and Charlie Daniels” into the pop and country charts, CDB had put out around 11 studio albums, and 4 Volunteer Jam live albums. You see before Urban Cowboy….Charlie Daniels Band had been primarly known as a Southern Rock Band. After Urban Cowboy, they began to morph into strictly a mainstream country band that has kind of an edge. This album, Way Down Yonder is a testament to the early southern rock era.

Way Down Yonder was released in early 1974, right before what I consider CDB’s finest album Fire On The Mountain, from the same year. Listening to Way Down Yonder and listening to Fire On The Mountain is almost like listening to 2 different bands. Way Down Yonder marks the end of one era and Fire On The Mountain marks the beginning of another. You see, this album is what some call SOUTHERN BOOGIE. Think Allman Brothers. This is heavily blues and country influenced rock…this is Southern Rock, and this is good southern rock (unlike Molly Hatchet).

The track I pulled off this album for you all to hear is a fine, FINE example of what this first southern boogie CDB phase sounded like (the other phases of course being country rock CDB, mainstream country CDB, gospel CDB, and patriotic CDB). The song jumps right out of the gate with an opening lick that just screams SOUTHERN ROCK, before being joined by one funky ass bass line and a Duane Allman like slide lick. This is the foundation of the song, and it’s a solid foundation. Now like the Allmans, this song gets a little jammy, but I love how they start layering on the other instruments towards the end until you can’t tell where the slide guitar stopped and the fiddle began.  Listening to this song on the computer…..doesn’t really do it justice. I had this puppy pumping through my vinyl rig with the big ass all wood house speakers and that bassline….man that bassline.

Recommended if you dig southern rock.

Listen to Charlie Daniels Band – Low Down Lady here

  • toomuchcountry

    February 11th, 2010

    Reply

    When I was in college, CDB came to campus as the headliner. The opener? None other than Bocephus himself – Hank Jr. Ol' Hank appeared to take many swigs from a red Solo cup & played well beyond his allotted time. Charlie didn't come on until much later. I had volunteered to help set up/tear down as part of student crew who got freebs in exchange for help. We got to meet Charlie after the show. He thanked us, gave us t-shirts, and apologized for the late ending time. A year ago, I got to meet Charlie again – about 25 years later – and told him the story. His jaw dropped, he smiled, and then he told me he remembered that night.

  • Truersound

    February 11th, 2010

    Reply

    Cool story, I wonder if Bocephus remembers?

  • Anonymous

    February 11th, 2010

    Reply

    Random Records is my favorite feature!

  • OldRockr1

    February 11th, 2010

    Reply

    I love those early CDB albums. Fire on the Mountain, Saddle Tramp and especially Nightrider. Growing up in the late 70's on Long Island meant you had to love the Southern Rock. Thanks for the post.

  • Vaughn

    February 13th, 2010

    Reply

    I sorely miss the Charlie Daniels of old. Did you see the Tom Dowd documentary? He's just a kid in that.
    Now he's a right-wing, jingoistic, bible-thumper, that drops "inappropriate" drug references from his old songs. He's become Toby Keith with a belly.
    A "Long-Haired Country Boy" no more.

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