Posted on 08.17.2021

Volunteer Jam XX: A Tribute to Charlie Daniels - Soapbox Jr.

March 7, 2018

43 years after the first Volunteer Jam at War Memorial Auditorium, a production company decided to record the next Jam for a TV special and CD release.

This Jam also marked a return to the original Roman numeral system, Volunteer Jam XX: A Tribute to Charlie Daniels.

There was just one small problem…

It was the 19th official Jam.

I argued against the renumbering. I would have preferred they had just called it Volunteer Jam: A Tribute to Charlie Daniels, but the production company wanted the XX, so we skipped over XIX. The argument was made – at least this is what I think was decided – the various Jam Tours over the years would serve as the bridge between the old Jam numbering system to get us to XX.

Regardless of the misnumbering, the talent lineup was stellar.

The first-timers were plentiful. Brent Cobb, Sara Evans, Justin More, Chris Janson, The Steep Canyon Rangers, Lee Brice, Alison Krauss, Devon Allman & Duane Betts, ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons, Chris Young and Ricky Skaggs.

The Jam vets returning were Blackberry Smoke, Alabama, Chuck Leavell, The Oak Ridge Boys, Travis Tritt and Lynyrd Skynyrd.

Legendary producer Don Was led the show’s backup band for the evening.

Since this was a tribute show, most of the performances were covers of CDB songs, but Eddie Montgomery, The Oak Ridge Boys, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Billy Gibbons, Travis Tritt all did original songs. Alabama did one original and one CDB cover while Devon Allman & Duane Betts did a couple of Allman Brothers classics that their famous fathers had recorded many years ago. 

CDB Favorites were performed by Blackberry Smoke, Brent Cobb, Sara Evans, Chris Janson, Steep Canyon Rangers, Lee Brice, Justin Moore, Chris Young, Ricky Skaggs and Alabama, as mentioned before. 

The CDB obviously performed “The Devil Went Down to Georgia,” but also a song called “Tennessee Fiddlin’ Man,” which has never been released commercially. It was part of a children’s project that we still hope will see the light of day at some point, but aside from the CDB performing it at concerts and a performance on Mike Huckabee’s TBN show, this is the only way to hear the song.

The all-star Jam was the Allman Brothers classic, “One Way Out,” and it was smokin’!

As great as the show was, the party atmosphere of years past backstage was non-existent. It was a ghost town. There was a concerted effort to make the backstage strictly business, and it was.

The shorter than normal Jam was in the books and would make its debut on AXS TV on August 18, 2018 and a double CD set would be released at the same time.

Sadly, Alison Krauss and Ricky Skagg’s beautiful rendition of “Blessed Assurance,” didn’t make the set but you can find it on YouTube.

And it goes without saying that this was dad’s last Volunteer Jam, but we’ve got one more to to.

This wraps up my Volunteer Jam history lesson. Twenty Soapbox Jr.s counting the Jam Tours one and I will no doubt write about what is likely the final Jam, Volunteer Jam: A Musical Salute to Charlie Daniels on August 18, 2021 at Bridgestone Arena, and we hope you will come out for it. Get tickets HERE

“Ain’t it good to be alive and be in Tennessee!”

Let’s all make the day count!

What do you think?

Pray for our troops, our police, the Peace of Jerusalem and our nation.

God Bless America!

#BenghaziAintGoingAway #End22

—  Charlie Daniels, Jr.



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History At It's Finest
Amen, Amen & Amen your Volunteer articles are some of the finest history lesson's that I have ever read, really appreciated all the behind the scenes stories and I would have voted with you on not skipping # XIX. In my mind it's almost as bad as hotels without 13th floor, they have one but not in name only. I'm sure tomorrows Jam will be a blow out that you will never forget, enjoy.....nuff said God Bless Plowboy
Posted by Plowboy
Honoring Charlie!
Ain't it good to be alive and to be in Tennessee!. Wow, I've been to Tennessee several times over the years only to see the CDB. My stomach is in knots and my ❤ heart sits in my throat knowing that its going to be an overwhelming and emotionally charged evening, for me anyway. I hope everyone who's coming tonight weather it be from across town, state or out of town please be safe. Thanks again Jr for all your hard work on your dad's legacy. To plow boy, I hope your doing well with everything and i read the soapbox articles to keep up on what's going on with the family and to read your posts!, keep it up sir and hopefully you'll be there tonight. God bless Charlie, Tommy and Taz!....
Posted by Sharon
Me & Charlie
I was honored to meet Charlie a few times. I’ve seen him a dozen times. A true gentleman! 🙏❤️🙏❤️
Posted by Billy