Sunday, June 26, 2005

The Devil Goes Down to Indio By WES WOODS II / The Press-Enterprise: "Charlie Daniels understands why the catchy lyrics and sound of 'The Devil Went Down To Georgia' remain as popular today as ever.

'It's kind of a novelty song,' Daniels said in a recent telephone interview. 'One of the basic things is real young kids, 7-year-old and 8-year-old kids, can understand it. Little guys like it, grow up with it; it's just one of those songs.'

The Charlie Daniels Band will perform at 8 p.m. Sunday at the Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in Indio.

Daniels has also been called one of the first white artists to perform a rap song because of the 1979 hit.

'I've had people tell me that. When I went on Arsenio Hall, he said I got into country rap,' the singer said, adding that R&B group Earth, Wind & Fire and hip-hop's Black Eyed Peas have also told him he was one of the first white rap artists.

Daniels said the song was actually a form of talking blues, an old form of music.

As for hip-hop music, Daniels said, 'I don't really understand a lot of it. A lot of it sounds like the same song and over. While it's not something I listen to, there are some groups that do it well like Black Eyed Peas and MC Hammer.'

His favorite collaborations have including working with Bob Dylan and former Beatle George Harrison.

'Bob Dylan has been the biggest impression on me,' Daniels said. 'Not so much try to write like him or be like him, but his caliber of work, to put the English language together in that unique way is an inspiration.'

For the Indio show, Daniels will perform for an hour and 15 minutes with four new songs including a cut from his new gospel-bluegrass album 'Songs From The Longleaf Pines' and his career hits.

'We do the songs they expect us to. We do the ones on radio and television,' he said."

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