The Charlie Daniels Band celebrated the 40th anniversary of their hit song “The Devil Went Down to Georgia” on Friday (June 21), with a performance at Fox & Friends.
The uptempo smash, recorded in 1979, has certainly become a staple in country music. However, the band’s frontman Charlie Daniels says the group used to receive mixed opinions about their music from the country community.
“The stuff we played, they said ‘that ain’t country,’” Daniels told the show’s host Brian Kilmeade before adding that he “never claimed to be country.” “We play American music. We play some of all the music that’s come across in America. We play country and bluegrass and rock and gospel and jazz and everything.”
Daniels, of course, isn’t the only star to take heat from others when it comes to blending different genres of music together. In fact, many artists currently on the country music charts have dealt with a variety of viewpoints from others after adding pop and R&B elements to their sound.
Daniels admits that despite the feedback he received in the past, he too has thoughts about the modern country music being played on the radio. When asked if he was “OK” with country bands like Florida Georgia Line shifting the sound of country music, Daniels replied with a resounding “No.”
“I can’t tell one artist from the other,” he explained, insisting that his opinion wasn’t meant to be “critical,” but rather honest.
“I’m a living life kind of guy, we do our thing and let everybody do their thing. When I say something like that people think I’m being critical and I’m not, the outspoken multi-instrumentalist clarified. “We were considered pretty radical when we came around. All I’m saying from my point of view I can’t tell one song from the other.”
Aside from commenting about the ever-evolving genre of country music, Daniels opened up about The Journey Home Project – a non-profit organization, which he founded seven years ago in order to assist veterans, who are reentering civilian life.
“There is a lot of transition when people come home from service especially from combat areas transitioning back into civilian life,” Daniels said. “We’ve done things as mundane as buy somebody a bicycle to ride to work. We’ve helped people with PTSD get medical care. We bought furniture. We bought automobiles. One of the big thing about our vets is we all need to let them know that we care about them.”
The Charlie Daniels Band is currently on the road co-headlining their Renegades and Outlaw Tour with Travis Tritt.