There’s no slowing down for Charlie Daniels, who turned 80 in 2016. Sure, he’ll tell you he’s only “playing about 100 shows” this year as opposed to 200, but he also released a new album last year and was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. He also works tirelessly for veterans’ groups and their families. And he’s just published his first book, “Never Look at the Empty Seats.”
So to paraphrase the Willie Nelson song, “still is still moving to Charlie Daniels.”
The Charlie Daniels Band will be joining Alabama at 8 p.m. Saturday at The Wharf Amphitheater in Orange Beach. Tickets area available at Ticketmaster.com.
In his latest interview with the Sun Herald, Daniels talks about why he waited until he was 80 to finish his book and how he still finds joy in his never-ending life on the road.
If someone asked me what kind of music do you play, I just tell them we play all of it — country, rock, bluegrass and gospel — we play American music.
I’m really looking forward to seeing you with Alabama at an amphitheater not too far from the beach. Are you excited about that show?
Man, yeah. I always look forward to playing with those guys. We’ve done a lot of touring together over the years and it’s good to see them back in the saddle again playing music. It should be a great day. Teddy Gentry and I have been friends for a long time. They are good people.
Last time I talked to you, you were on the verge of being inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame and turning 80. Now, your book is about to hit stores.
This is a book about my life. I’ve been working on it for something like 20 years but I couldn’t find a place to stop — my life and my career just kept going on. When they told me I was going to be inducted into the Hall of Fame, I thought that was a great place to let it rest for a while. And I did. I went home that night and wrote the ending, and there we were.
It’s all 80 years of my life — the parts that people would be interested in. I also tried to tell about all of the pitfalls that are out there; some are avoidable and some are not. I tried to highlight some of those. There’s quite a bit of that in there. It’s what I’ve been doing and what I’ve been up to for the last 80 years.
Do you still enjoy performing?
Absolutely. If I didn’t, I wouldn’t do it. We stay pretty busy, but I love it. It’s a real blessing from God to get to make a living doing what I love so much. If I didn’t enjoy it, I wouldn’t do it.
I’ve always associated the CDB with rock bands like Wet Willie and the Allman Brothers and Marshall Tucker. I think you should be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, too.
We’ve always hit the middle. If someone asked me what kind of music do you play, I just tell them we play all of it — country, rock, bluegrass and gospel — we play American music.