Charlie Daniels celebrated the 40th Anniversary of his annual Volunteer Jam in the biggest way possible last night (Aug. 12) at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena, offering up surprises galore for the sold-out crowd including bombshell appearances by Eric Church, Jamey Johnson, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and Blackberry Smoke.
The benefit for servicemen and veterans through the Journey Home Project featured plenty of great music. In the middle of Daniels’ performance of “In America,” Church busted out onstage to join Daniels for a duet. Though the two both hail from North Carolina, the Jam was the first time they had shared a stage.
The evening’s four surprise guests joined billed acts Ted Nugent, Trace Adkins, Alabama, Terri Clark, Billy Ray Cyrus, Colt Ford, The Grascals, Lee Greenwood, The Kentucky Headhunters, Tracy Lawrence, The Oak Ridge Boys, Ryan Weaver, Wynonna, Craig Morgan, Lee Roy Parnell, Billy Dean, Michael W. Smith, Travis Tritt, Phil Vassar, Montgomery Gentry, Natalie Stovall and of course Daniels himself.
The 40th Anniversary Volunteer Jam raised hundreds of thousands in proceeds for the non-profit organization, The Journey Home Project, which aids veterans’ organizations in meeting the health care, education and career needs of military servicemen and women and their families. Since 1974, Daniels has rounded up his music friends and peers to come together on a “volunteer” basis to hang out and jam. The Charlie Daniels Band has grown the concept from its early days at the War Memorial Auditorium to the Starwood Amphitheater, to its first year at Music City’s Bridgestone Arena.
Daniels is celebrating another milestone and bringing his career spanning over 50 years full circle with a new release, Live At Billy Bob’s Texas, and its companion DVD on Oct. 16. Recorded in February, the 14-track project pairs The Charlie Daniels Band with Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard, David Allan Coe, Pat Green, Randy Rogers Band, Stoney LaRue, and others as a member of the Live at Billy Bob’s Texas family.
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