Charlie Daniels Band – High Lonesome (1976)

LPFrontCover1Charles Edward Daniels (October 28, 1936 – July 6, 2020) was an American singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist known for his contributions to Southern rock, country, and bluegrass music. He was best known for his number-one country hit “The Devil Went Down to Georgia”. Daniels was active as a singer and musician from the 1950s. He was inducted into the Cheyenne Frontier Days Hall of Fame in 2002, the Grand Ole Opry in 2008, the Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum in 2009, and the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2016.

Daniels died on July 6, 2020, at the age of 83 of a hemorrhagic stroke at Summit Medical Center in Nashville.

High Lonesome is the eighth studio album by Charlie Daniels and the fourth as The Charlie Daniels Band, released on November 5, 1976. Many of the tracks pay homage to pulp Western fiction and, with permission, the album’s title was named after the 1962 Western novel by Louis L’Amour. (wikipedia)

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Following Saddle Tramp by a matter of months, High Lonesome finds the Charlie Daniels Band retaining their focus on jamming — meaning not just long solos and improvisations, but a loose feel that brings in elements of a number of different Southern styles, blurring the line between country, rock, blues, and bluegrass. Compared to Saddle Tramp, which felt as wide-open and sunny as the plains or desert, High Lonesome is a little darker and denser, a byproduct of the Charlie Daniels Band playing harder as they up the rock quotient while simultaneously playing up cowboy myths. There are strong elements of the Allmans throughout the record, particularly when Charlie Daniels and Tom Crain trade off electric guitar leads and double-up on harmonies, and there’s a harder backbeat. Even better, there’s more of an emphasis on songwriting and tighter arrangements, which means that the Band’s improvistory fire is distilled into tight, concise four-minute bursts, which makes the record as a whole a more infectious, invigorating listen. Also, with Crain singing on “Tennessee” and a pianist taking lead on “Roll Mississippi,” this not only feels more like a band album, it has a welcome, loose, anything-goes feel, actually sounding like the work of a bunch of Southern renegades. If there are no true CDB classics outside of the title track and arguably “Carolina,” there are no bum songs, either, and the whole thing holds together well, perhaps because, unlike its predecessor, it plays as if it has a theme, thanks to the songs about cowboys and the Southern mythology, not to mention its focused arrangements and the muscular blues-rock guitar that ties it all together. All this makes High Lonesome a highlight in Charlie Daniels’ discography. (by Stephen Thomas Erlewine)

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Personnel:
Tom Crain (guitar, vocals on 08., slide guitar)
Charlie Daniels (guitar, vocals banjo, fiddle, slide guitar)
Fred Edwards (drums, percussion)
Taz DiGregorio (keyboards, vocals on 06.)
Charlie Hayward (bass)
Don Murray (drums, percussion)
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Toy Caldwell (steel guitar on 07. + 08.)
George McCorkle (guitar on 01.)

LPBooklet

Tracklist:
01. Billy the Kid” (Daniels) 5.50
02. Carolina (Daniels/Crain/DiGregorio/Edwards/Hayward/Murray) 3.55
03. High Lonesome (Daniels/Crain/DiGregorio/Edwards/Hayward/Murray) – 5:03
04. Running With the Crowd (Daniels/Crain/DiGregorio/Edwards/Hayward/Murray) 4.02
05. Right Now Tennessee Blues (Daniels) 3.37
06. Roll Mississippi (Daniels/Crain/DiGregorio/Edwards/Hayward/Murray) 3.13
07. Slow Song (Daniels) 3.56
08. Tennessee (Crain) 4.43
09. Turned My Head Around (Daniels/Crain/DiGregorio/Edwards/Hayward/Murray) 3.52

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CharlieDaniels02Charlie Daniels (October 28, 1936 – July 6, 2020)

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