What do you get when you invite Charlie Daniels to a jam session with some of his bluegrass buddies? Well the simple answer is, you get an evening of truly delightful music. I have been a fan of Charlie Daniels for many years, his music is always memorable, you don’t have to be a country fan to appreciate The Devil Came Down From Georgia.

This concert was recorded in April 2005 from the Ford Theater in Nashville. So who would Charlie Daniels invite to a jam session, and what music would be played? The cast of characters reads like a who’s who of the country music hall of fame.

Lets talk first about the choice of music, maybe I am wrong, but I always equate Charlie Daniels with a rambunctious variety of country rock with a little bluegrass thrown in for good measure.  Preachin’, Prayin’, Singin’ does retain a certain element of the Charlie Daniels style, but is very much a return to his bluegrass roots. If my math is correct (it frequently is not) he has somewhere in the region of 17 albums under his ‘ample’ belt, and this is the very first one to almost exclusively feature gospel.

Who joins him on stage came as a complete surprise to me. Mac Wiseman, the elder Earl, and the younger Gary and Randy of the very illustrious Scruggs family. Del, Ronnie and Rob McCoury are there, as also are Sharon, Cheryl, and Buck White.

With this kind of fire power, you get a real taste of Charlie’s wide and deep musical abilities.

I must admit that though the camera work is minimalistic, the entire performance was recorded using only three units, they are used in a very clever fashion. The vast majority of the video has undergone a ‘sepia’ wash which gives it a real feel of age, or maybe agelessness.

Edited into the concert are a number of interviews, all of which are endearing. Charlie himself had just returned from a trip to Iraq, and has much to say on the subject.

As I mentioned earlier, this is not the ‘Devil Came Down To Georgia’ Charlie Daniels, but it is a DVD that every fan will want to have in their collection.

You can order your copy here.

Simon Barrett


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