: "'We write our own material and it's a challenge to write new songs,' he explained. 'It's a challenge to stay on top of things, to stay current ... to stay where you're able to play to a high quality.
'But we're getting out and traveling and getting the job done. We're staying interested in it. And I love it - I just love it. I dearly love it.'
Daniels loves it so much that he and the band traveled to Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Afghanistan, Kuwait, Iraq and Germany in April. They traveled more than 16,000 miles and performed up to three shows per day for American troops deployed in the war on terrorism.
'We would do a concert, and they would put tables in front of the stage and we would sign autographs for however many people were there (after the concert),' Daniels said. 'It was an eye-opening, wonderful experience. It's just, I mean, hard to articulate. I've never been in an active war zone before. I was constantly aware of that.
'I was constantly aware of 19- to 23-year-old, fresh-faced kids that had chosen to go into military service to serve their country. That was pretty doggone impressive to think about and understand. Nobody forces them to do it - they do it because they want to. I feel so close to these kids. When you leave, they want to talk with you. They're the greatest bunch of kids in the world. They're the finest America has to offer.'
Back state-side now, Daniels can't think of group he'd rather work with than The Charlie Daniels Band.
"I'm just so hung up with the band," he said. "I'd rather get onstage with them than any other people, than any other band. There's nobody else I'd rather play with. Actually, to get onstage with these guys is an honor and a privilege to me."
Daniels was honored Tuesday as a "BMI Icon" at the performing rights organization's 53rd annual Country Awards. On Nov. 8, Blue Hat/Koch Records will release a Charlie Daniels DVD, which will be the first-ever live concert DVD by The Charlie Daniels Band.
Thursday, Daniels said, will be a good time for those who go to see the concert. "We're a highly professional, entertaining band. We're very much into what we do. We enjoy what we do. I'm firmly convinced we're going to entertain you."
And if you think about it, at the end of the show, wish him an early happy birthday. Daniels will be 69 Friday.