Director’s Chair: ‘Let there be harmony’ in Beaver Creek
Beaver Creek CO, Colorado
Editor’s note: Director’s Chair is a weekly column where Kris Sabel, who is in charge of cultural programming for the Vail Valley Foundation, gives his expert take on shows not to be missed.
On Dec. 14, the Vilar Performing Arts Center is pleased to present the Charlie Daniels Band, live in concert for one night only. The 72-year-old Daniels has reached iconic status in American music. He has released 50 albums, and his projects have encompassed everything from blues to Southern rock to country, bluegrass and beyond.
Daniels’ musical style is hard to define or pinpoint with a genre, and he prefers it that way.
“It bothers me that music has to be so strictly categorized and formatted. After all, there are only 12 notes of music in the universe. Beethoven dealt with the same 12 notes that Robert Johnson dealt with. It’s the way that they put them together that makes the difference.”
Daniels is equally at home on the guitar as he is on the fiddle. His dexterity on these instruments, as well as his distinctive voice, are instantly recognizable on hits like “The Devil Went Down to Georgia,” “The South’s Gonna Do It Again,” “Simple Man” and “In America.”
Daniels’ career is as active today as it was three decades ago. In the last year alone, he was inducted into the Grand Ole Opry, released a new live concert DVD and hosted a sold-out concert at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville.
“People ask me what fires me up after all these years, I tell them I sincerely love doing what I do for a living,” Daniels said when asked about his continued fervent pace as a performer. “It’s exhilarating to me. It’s in my blood. I wouldn’t trade it for anything.”
Daniels is very patriotic, and has strong political views, as expressed in songs like “In America,” “Still in Saigon,” “Simple Man,” and on the “Soap Box” blog on his Web site. Yet he’s been honored by two former presidents from opposite sides of the aisle ” a tribute to the resonance of his message. When he received the Pioneer Award from the Academy of Country Music in 1998, former President Jimmy Carter praised Daniels, saying “in his time he’s played everything from rock to jazz, folk to western swing and honky-tonk to award-winning gospel.”
“In Charlie’s own words, ‘Let there be harmony. Let there be fun and 12 notes of music to make us all one,'” said former President Gerald R. Ford. “Charlie’s love of music is only surpassed by his love of people, especially the American people. For almost five decades, he’s traveled this land from coast to coast singing about the things that concern the American people.”
The concert will feature his greatest hits along with new material. And as a holiday treat, he’ll play several Christmas songs. I hope you’ll join us for this exciting concert.
On Dec. 12 and 13 we present “‘Tis the Season,” a Holiday Celebration. The evening features favorite local professionals including Don Watson, Beth Swearinger, Kathy Morrow, Tony Gulizia, Pat Hamilton, Peter Vavra and others. These professionals join the Vail Youth Ballet and Vail Performing Arts Academy to celebrate the season with your favorite holiday songs and dances.
I look forward to seeing you at the theatre.