Entertainment, On A High Note

Charlie Daniels takes the stage with the Beau Weevils

Photo by Nate Shuppert

Charlie Daniels at age 82 keeps finding ways to reinvent himself and come up with new and creative projects. His latest innovation is the Beau Weevils, a four-piece band led by Daniels that plays straight-up R&B with a nod to the old bluesmasters. The band has just released an album, “Beau Weevils – Songs in the Key of E,” and on Tuesday night (October 30th), Daniels and his band mates took the stage at Winners Bar & Grill near Music Row in Nashville to play some tunes from the record.

Plenty of folks packed the popular venue to catch Daniels and his fellow Beau Weevils, guitarist Billy Crain, bass player Charlie Hayward and drummer James Stroud, who also serves as co-producer of the project. Following their performance of “Mexico Again,” Daniels took a few moments for a Q&A session with members of the Nashville media, where he explained that he had wanted to do a project with Stroud for some time. He felt that the Beau Weevils idea fit perfectly. “Ever since we played at Abraham Lincoln’s inaugural,” Daniels quipped before turning serious, “we have been looking for a means to get together.” The spark came when Daniels started writing the blues-rock song “Mudcat,” which set the tone for the rest of the album. “We ended up with 10 tunes,” the veteran entertainer smiled. “I love this record. It’s the kind of music I was raised on.”

Cover of “Beau Weevils – Songs in the Key of E.” Photo courtesy of Charlie Daniels

Daniels duly noted that he dedicated the album to legendary blues singer and guitarist B.B. King. “As far as I’m concerned, he personifies Delta blues,” Daniels said. “You can go back to Lightnin’ Hopkins and Blind Lemon Jefferson, but B.B. to me fits my taste for the blues I really enjoy.” Daniels recalled that he listened to blues as a youngster growing up in North Carolina. “I came up on all the R&B sounds,” he said. “I remember Fats Domino and Little Richard. I was very heavily influenced by those people.” In a statement about the record, Daniels described the new recordings as, “Downhome swampy rock meets funk with a little taste of ‘Delta’ type of style.”

The Beau Weevils finished their short set with “Mudcat,” the song that started it all. Daniels revealed that “Mudcat” was based on the story of blues legend Robert Johnson and his visit to the crossroads near a Mississippi plantation, where supposedly he made a deal with the devil to gain mastery of the guitar. “[The song] is a third party observation of that event,” Daniels told the crowd.

Daniels added that the Beau Weevils have no plans to tour at this point. Judging from the crowd reaction to their show at Winners, the band would surely be a large draw on the concert trail. For right now, fans can enjoy the album, currently in release.