Charlie Daniels: Charlie Daniels (fiddle); Chris Wormer (guitars); Bruce Brown (acoustic guitar); Taz Di Gregorio (electric keyboard); Charlie Hayward (electric bass); Pat McDonald (drums).
While raising some interesting ethical questions (such as should a repeated USO artist, while doing the country an admirable service, capitalize on performances for the troops by releasing them as commercial products?), the Charlie Daniels Band's LIVE IN BAGHDAD CD and accompanying bonus DVD has a two-pronged purpose. It is a touching snapshot of the experiences of an American combat soldier and USO entertainer in Baghdad, and simultaneously the most butt-kicking redneck-stomp set the band has delivered since Daniels went born-again. Just as the Folsom prisoners did for Johnny Cash, the G.I.s in Iraq have clearly inspired Daniels, and while never politically shy, his pro-America rhetoric has a particularly stark resonance when set in Baghdad, Fallujah, and other wartorn Iraqi locales. Say what you will, the man has gumption. Politics aside, however, the sets are rollicking and touch upon all the essential Daniels Band highlights such as "Devil Went Down To Georgia," "The Legend of Wooley Swamp," and "Rocky Top," as well as gospel fare "How Great Thou Art" and the newly penned "Iraq Blues."