Exclusive Premiere: Hear Charlie Daniels’ First-Ever Volunteer Jam Performance of ‘Jambalaya’ From Forthcoming Album

Charlie Daniels; Photo by Erick Anderson, eafoto
Charlie Daniels; Photo by Erick Anderson, eafoto
Charlie Daniels; Photo by Erick Anderson, eafoto

Charlie Daniels’ first-ever Volunteer Jam took place at the War Memorial Auditorium in Nashville, Tenn. on October 4, 1974. In August, fans will officially be able to get their hands on a live recording of that full performance with the release of Charlie Daniels & Friends: Volunteer Jam 1 – 1974 – The Legend Begins

In the meantime, readers of Country Now are getting the first listen of a live cover version of “Jambalaya,” one of 12 unearthed tracks featured on the forthcoming release in this brand new exclusive premiere.  

Charlie Daniels Volunteer Jam 1 - 1974
Charlie Daniels Volunteer Jam 1 – 1974

The seventh track from Charlie Daniels & Friends: Volunteer Jam 1 – 1974 – The Legend Begins, “Jambalaya,” finds Daniels’ putting his husky, signature southern rock/country vocals on the track alongside the Charlie Daniels Band and with special guests Toy Caldwell and Paul Riddle of The Marshall Tucker Band, and The Allman Brothers’ Dickey Betts and Jamie Nichol. The vibrant sounds of a sawing fiddle, a walking bass line, and uptempo percussion can be heard throughout the track, making fans feel as if they’re in the live audience of the once-in-a-lifetime event. 

“Jambalaya (On the Bayou)” was written and recorded by the legendary Hank Williams. Released in July 1952, the tune has become one of the country icon’s most covered songs. Nonetheless, The Charlie Daniels Band made it their own during this historical evening.

Initially scheduled as a live recording session for two songs to be included on CBD’s Fire on the Mountain album, the inaugural Volunteer Jam ended up marking a tradition of including special guests. The Volunteer Jam became a regular concert series hosted by the CDB, which ran from 1974-1996 and returned from 2014-2021, with the final show being hosted posthumously after Daniels’ July 6, 2020, death at the age of 83. Stars like Garth Brooks, Ted Nugent, Billy Joel, Tammy Wynette, and Alabama are a few of the names who have graced the stage at past shows. In recent years, The Volunteer Jam also benefited Daniels’ the Journey Home Project, a charity organization he founded in 2014 with his longtime manager David Corlew to help soldiers.

“The Volunteer Jam was a magical evening,” Corlew said in a press release. “There was no other event like it. There has never been and will never be. This is the first one. The beginning, where it all started. So let this first Jam be your melodic introduction to a musical legend like no other.”

Charlie Daniels & Friends: Volunteer Jam 1 – 1974 – The Legend Begins is slated for release on August 26, 2022, via Blue Hat Records and Bob Frank Distribution / Audium Nashville. Other songs on the forthcoming release include the already released “Long Haired Country Boy,” “Tennessee Waltz,” “Orange Blossom Special,” and more.

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