Charlie Daniels / The Charlie Daniels Band

Midnight Wind

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Arriving between the trio of mid-'70s hits of "Uneasy Rider," "Long Haired Country Boy," and "The South's Gonna Do It," and the 1979 blockbuster "The Devil Went Down to Georgia," Midnight Wind is an overlooked title in the Charlie Daniels Band oeuvre, never appearing on CD until Raven released an expanded version called Midnight Wind...Plus in 2009. Like its 1976 predecessor, Saddle Tramp, Midnight Wind bears a clear debt to the CDB's Volunteer Jams -- a point underscored on the expansion by the inclusion of three bonus culled from Volunteer Jam, Vols. 3 & 4 -- never quite wandering as far afield as that album's 11-minute title track, but featuring plenty of high-octane Southern rock. Often, the country elements feel submerged -- this is redneck music, not hillbilly -- overwhelmed by a proud Allman Brothers influence, something the CDB wears quite well. If there's any fault in Midnight Wind, it doesn't lie within the band, it lies with the lack of truly memorable songs, but songs aren't the point of a jam album -- playing is, and this one has that in spades.

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