Country Stars Supplement Charlie Daniels Album:
July 02, 2007, 3:05 PM ET
Gary Graff, Detroit
Brad Paisley, Gretchen Wilson, Brooks & Dunn, Vince Gill and Dolly Parton are among the artists joining Charlie Daniels for a duets album he plans to release this fall on his Blue Hat Records label.
Daniels tells Billboard.com that he was in the midst of recording another album with the latest edition of the Charlie Daniels Band, when a friend suggested the duets idea. 'So we put that (group) album on the back burner for the duets album,' Daniels says. 'We're fairly close to having it finished.'
Among the highlights on the as-yet-untitled set are a version of Ray Charles' 'What'd I Say' with Travis Tritt, Johnny Cash's 'Jackson' with Wilson, 'Long Haired Country Boy' with Brooks & Dunn, Stevie Wonder's 'Signed, Sealed Delivered (I'm Yours)' with Bonnie Bramlett and Bob Dylan's 'Maggie's Farm.'
'I wanted to pick stuff that had common ground for everybody,' explains Daniels, who co-wrote one original, 'Evangeline,' with Hal Ketchum. Daniels recorded the song with the Del McCoury Band.
He's also proud of an instrumental track he laid down with Paisley and the late Stevie Ray Vaughn's Double Trouble rhythm section (Chris Layton and Tommy Shannon). 'It's just an instrumental thing we Daniels recalls. "We just got together and sat there and jammed." The bluesy song isn't titled yet, but Daniels says it will likely acknowledge Vaughan in some way.
"Stevie Ray was a very unusual and dedicated talent," Daniels says. "He was just 'it' as far as blues guitar was concerned. As far as carrying on the blues in his generation, he was the man. So it was great to be in there with (Double Trouble), 'cause they play so well together and still have that spirit."
The duets project will follow Daniels' recently released CD/DVD "Live in Iran," recorded during his visits to perform for U.S. troops overseas. He also edited the new book "Growing Up Country," which features essays by Southern musicians, politicians and athletes. He plans to finish the band album as well, probably for release in 2008. "