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!
— Charlie Daniels, Jr.
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