It's been 35 years since the release of the Charlie Daniels Band's anthemic "The Devil Went Down to Georgia."
The rousing country classic, which chronicles the Devil's attempt to steal a young fiddler's soul, hit the top of the Hot Country Singles chart, peaked at number 3 on the Billboard Hot 100 and established the Charlie Daniels Band.
Daniels' signature song dropped in May of 1979.
Vocalist-multi-instrumentalist Charlie Daniels, however, is much more than one song. Daniels, who was inducted into the Grand Ole Opry in 2008 and into the Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum in 2009, is a formidable player, with an esteemed resume.
Daniels has recorded with an eclectic group of recording artists, ranging from Leonard Cohen to Hank Williams Jr. to the Marshall Tucker Band.
"I can't say enough about what Charlie is capable of doing," said Doug Gray, Marshall Tucker Band vocalist-guitarist. "He's incredible. What a great fiddler. He can do it all. He had a huge impact on a bunch of our albums."
Daniels, 77, who played on five early MTB albums, also recorded on three Bob Dylan albums as guitarist and bassist.
"I worked with a lot of great musicians," Daniels said. "I had a lot of fun with the Marshall Tucker Band and I have many great memories but to play on Dylan albums, now that was an experience. To be wanted by Dylan was a huge boost for me."
Well, Daniels is returning the favor with "Off The Grid: Doin It Dylan,'' which dropped in April. Daniels and his band, which will perform Thursday, May 29, at the Warner Theatre, have released their most inspired album since 1989's "Simple Man."
Daniels is locked in, particularly throughout the moving "Gotta Serve Somebody" and "Tangled Up in Blue." The former is a natural for the devout Christian and the latter is revamped. Daniels speeds up the tempo and transforms "Tangled Up In Blue" into a Daniels raveup. Songs such as "Country Pie" and "Quinn the Eskimo (The Mighty Quinn)" work for Daniels and company. However, "A Hard Rain's Gonna Fall" and "Just Like a Woman" seem to have too much verbiage on paper but Daniels makes it all work.
"There's nobody like Dylan," Daniels said. "Nobody uses the English language like Dylan. He's very inventive the way he puts chords together. There are no boundaries with his music. There's a reason so many people record versions of his songs. He has written some of the finest songs ever."
Daniels is a strong songwriter in his own right. "The South's Gonna Do It Again,'' "Long Haired Country Boy'' and "Simple Man'' are fiery, anthemic tracks, which hold up today.
"I'm fortunate to have had so much success," Daniels said. "I've been blessed to have such an extraordinary career. I get to do what I love and I continue doing it at an age when most people are retired. But it seems that the music brings people joy. I know it brings me great joy. That's why I still do it."