Hear Charlie Daniels Sing ‘Jambalaya’ at the Inaugural Volunteer Jam in 1974

by Clayton Edwards
(Photo by Brownie Harris/Getty Images)

For some fans of country music and southern rock, Volunteer Jam is the pinnacle of concert events. The Charlie Daniels Band hosted the annual event at Nashville‘s War Memorial Auditorium every August between 1974 and 1996. Then, they kicked off the party again in 2014. The revived Volunteer Jam ran until 2021. The final Jam celebrated Daniels’ life after his death in 2020. Later this year, Blue Hat Records is releasing live recordings captured at the inaugural Volunteer Jam.

Charlie Daniels & Friends: Volunteer Jam 1 – 1974 – The Legend Begins drops on August 26th. The album includes a dozen songs recorded by Daniels and a handful of very special guests. Among those songs is a rendition of the Hank Williams classic “Jambalaya.” Check it out below.

“Let’s do a little country music, here,” Charlie Daniels says before the band kicks the tune off. Hank certainly didn’t do it this way, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t a good time. Between the big electric guitars and the hotter-than-hellfire fiddle, Charlie and the gang make this timeless tune their own. It’s a real toe-tapper and will be a huge hit for fans of the CDB.

More About the Upcoming Charlie Daniels Live Album

According to Country Now, Charlie Daniels didn’t initially intend for the Volunteer Jam to be a concert series. Instead, it started out as a recording session for two live tracks for the CDB album Fire on the Mountain. However, it was such a great time that Charlie and the gang had to do it again. After that, it caught on. Over the years, the concert series became a high point of the year for many music fans. This new live album captures the beginning of that decades-long tradition.

David Corlew, Charlie Daniels’ longtime manager talked a little about the album and the concert series in a press release. “The Volunteer Jam was a magical evening. There was no other event like it. There never has been and never will be. This is the first one. The beginning, where it all started. So let this first Jam be your melodic introduction to a musical legend like no other.”

Speaking of musical legends, this upcoming album is packed with them. Obviously, Charlie Daniels and his band play on the record. However, that’s only the beginning. The inaugural Volunteer Jam also included Toy Caldwell and Paul Riddle of The Marshall Tucker Band. Additionally, Daniels brought Dickey Betts and Jamie Nichol of The Allman Brothers Band to the stage.

Charlie Daniels and Toy Caldwell have passed since the War Memorial Stadium recording session. Caldwell died in 1993 and Daniels died in 2020. As a result, some of the songs on the upcoming live album will feature two heavy hitters of southern rock and country that died much too soon. It’s going to be a special record for fans.

The Legend Begins Tracklist

  1.  Tennessee Waltz
  2. Whiskey
  3. Way Down Yonder
  4. Long Haired Country Boy
  5. New York City, King Size Rosewood Bed
  6. Caballo Diablo
  7. Jambalaya
  8. Stay All Night (Stay a Little Longer)
  9. No Place To Go
  10. The South’s Gonna Do It (Again)
  11. Orange Blossom Special
  12. Don’t You Lie to Me