The “band without a genre” returns to Maine this summer, bringing iconic Southern songs and, for the first time, a tribute to musical legend Bob Dylan.
The Charlie Daniels Band is scheduled to perform at the Waterville Opera House on June 26 as part of its 2015 tour and will bring hits that include “The Devil Went Down to Georgia” along with material from their newest album, “Off the Grid: Doin’ it Dylan.” Band members Charlie Daniels, Bruce Brown, Chris Wormer, Pat McDonald, Charlie Hayward and Shannon Wickline are expected to play.
Partly southern, partly western, The Charlie Daniels Band offers listeners a little of everything — rock, country, bluegrass, blues and gospel. Concert-goers can expect some of Daniels’ classic hits — there’s a lot to choose from, considering he has been performing since the mid-1950s — but he said he also plans of mixing it up, mimicking to his signature “genre-free” style of music.
“We always play the songs people expect us to play, but we change the show up every year,” Daniels said. “There’s a certain amount of songs you have to play, but we have so many albums out. There’s a lot of material to choose from.”
The refusal to label his songs anything other than “CDB music” is all part of the band’s persona and what Daniels loves about being a singer/songwriter. He said the mix of genres played by his band harkens back to his days growing up in North Carolina when multiple types of music were played on a single radio station.
“We don’t call ourselves any one thing. I don’t know what to call us because we play all kinds of American music. … When I got ready to do original music, I did a little bit of everything,” Daniels said.
The band recently produced a new album called “Off the Grid: Doin’ it Dylan,” a tribute to Bob Dylan. Daniels worked on three albums with Dylan between 1969 and 1970: “Skyline,” “New Morning” and “Self Portrait.” While he always had been a Dylan fan, Daniels said he became an even bigger fan after working with him. The title “Off the Grid” comes from the album’s acoustic qualities.
“He’s a nice guy. I’ve wanted to do a tribute for a long time,” Daniels said. “[His music] gave me encouragement to a point where I knew I could rock like him, but the freedom, the individual part of it, the being yourself — that was definitely an influence,” Daniels said.
At 78 years old, Daniels is far from the young man who left his southern home for California to pursue a career in music, but he credits his faith and “God-given talent” for keeping him going. His bedside table is home to his Bible, which he reads every night, and “blood-and-guts stuff, like spy novels or where people get shot,” such as Robert Ludlum novels.
“God gives me the strength, and like all God-given talent … if you use it, it develops; if you don’t, it atrophies,” Daniels said.
After Maine, Daniels will travel to Pattersonville, New York, then to several other cities and states before wrapping up the tour in Agoura Hills, California.
The Charlie Daniels Band concert is scheduled for 7 p.m. Friday, June 26, at the Waterville Opera House. Tickets cost between $55 and $75 and are available by calling 207-873-7000 or by going online to operahouse.org.