The Charlie Daniels Band is coming to Tyler to perform at the Oil Palace on June 29. This year, the band is celebrating the 40th anniversary of “The Devil Went Down to Georgia.”
He is co-headlining the Outlaws & Renegades Tour with Travis Tritt.
Daniels said East Texans can expect to hear some surprises and the classic hits like “Long Haired Country Boy” and “The Devil Went Down to Georgia.”
“It’s always fun to come to Texas,” Daniels said in a recent phone interview while on the road in Camdenton, Missouri. “It’s America down there. We’ve played there before and we’re looking forward to it.”
The 82-year-old country musician said he gives God all the glory for his longevity and success.
Daniels has a full schedule of tour dates and has a new CD for which he wrote all the songs. He’s also an author and advocates for veterans through his nonprofit organization.
“I’m 83 in October,” Daniels said. “I don’t have a secret. God has blessed me and has given me success and accolades and the health to do what I love and want to do.”
“Beau Weevils — Songs in the Key of E” is a project Daniels worked on with his former producer James Stroud.
“He was my producer,” Daniels said. “I wanted to do a project with him but never had the songs to do it. I wrote them all.”
The book “Never Look at the Empty Seats” hit bookshelves in October 2017 and “Let’s All Make the Day Count” in November 2018.
“It’s a God-given talent I didn’t even know I had,” Daniels said. “I dabbled with writing a biography and did it for 20 years off and on. It’s just another thing I wanted to do.”
Daniels frequently tweets and writes about politics, veterans and the military in a column on his website called “Soap Box.”
“I write what’s on my mind,” he said.
Daniels recently wrote about D-Day and what he remembers about the day 75 years later.
“I remember D-Day,” Daniels said. “I had just finished first grade in Valdosta, Georgia. I didn’t know what was going on. We went to church and it was jam-packed with people praying. That’s what America did that day.”
Daniels also uses social media to communicate with his fans about his music, his work with veterans and his love of ranching.
He said he puts something on Twitter every day about the amount of veterans who commit suicide.
“I started doing it a couple years ago,” he said. “People are astounded when they find out.”
Daniels and his manager, David Corlew, founded The Journey Home Project in 2014.
“I came up with a deep appreciation and understanding for what the military did and the country they protect,” Daniels said. “We saw a lot of need not being met.”
Daniels said veterans are going through hard transitions when they come home from military service. He said the organization is working to get veterans help with PTSD and to help other nonprofit organizations with funding to help veterans.
“The Pentagon takes a merciless view of it (veteran suicide) and it should be the biggest thing on their minds,” Daniels said. “We’re trying to do something about it.”
Daniels said he prefers to live in the country because he likes the ranching lifestyle and living around horses and cows.
He said his ranch is about 30 miles east of Nashville, where he runs a small operation raising horned Herefords.
The self-taught guitar and fiddle player said he tells younger musicians to make sure it’s what they want to do because it looks different on the inside.
“It’s not a traveling party,” he said. “Make sure it’s what you want to do. It’s not going to be a picnic. If you have the attitude you’re just going to go with the flow, you’re not going to make it.”
He said being away from family, missing anniversaries, birthdays and meaningful times hurts.
“If you’re not willing to do that, then get a job at the Holiday Inn Lounge,” Daniels said. “Go somewhere there is a music business, Nashville or New York.”
Daniels said he enjoys playing in the United States, but would love to do a concert in Israel.
“I would love to play there and take the band,” he said. “We’ve played in quite a bit of the world, Hong Kong, Iraq, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan. Every night I get on stage. I’m thankful to make a living doing what I do.”
Daniels said he has a wide taste in music.
“I listen to whatever I want to,” Daniels said. “It might be Stevie Ray Vaughan, Merle Haggard, Charlie Parker or the London Symphony Orchestra.”