On Wednesday night, Nashville celebrated the 40th Anniversary of the legendary Charlie Daniels Volunteer Jam at Bridgestone Arena with a sell-out performance. The Charlie Daniels Volunteer Jam is a benefit for U.S. Military veterans and their families. It has raised hundreds of thousands in proceeds for the 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, The Journey Home Project. It was co-founded by Daniels and his manager David Corlew, and seeks to connect donors with veterans’ organizations that do the most good in meeting the health care, education and career needs of military servicemen and women and their families. Additional concert proceeds will benefit the Nashville Predators Foundation.
On hand to co-host the event were conservative talk show host, Sean Hannity, and SiriusXM “The Highway” host, Storme Warren. Those that performed included The Charlie Daniels Band, Ted Nugent, Trace Adkins, Alabama, Terri Clark, Billy Ray Cyrus, Colt Ford, The Grascals, Lee Greenwood, The Kentucky Headhunters, Tracy Lawrence, The Oak Ridge Boys, Ryan Weaver, Wynonna, Craig Morgan, Lee Roy Parnell, Billy Dean, Michael W. Smith, Travis Tritt, Phil Vassar, and Montgomery Gentry, for a jam-packed line-up to remember. The crowd was surprised with appearances by Jamey Johnson, Eric Church, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and Blackberry Smoke to help honor U.S. military members and veterans.
Former Blackhawk pilot, U.S. veteran and rising country star, Ryan Weaver, evoked arguably the most emotional applause of the night with a performance and moving video tribute to his brother and brother-in-law, both lost in combat in the War on Iraq.
Closing out the event, Lynyrd Skynyrd would play their hit songs “Simple Man,” “Sweet Home Alabama,” “Free Bird,” “Gimme Three Steps,” and more.
Since 1974, Daniels has commissioned his musical friends and peers to come together on a “volunteer” basis to hang out, “jam” together, and entertain crowds in an unconventional, laid-back fashion unknown to any other concert event, all while dedicating concert proceeds to worthy causes.
Having founded the “Volunteer Jam” concept in 1974 as a “homecoming,” event for music peers to gather in Nashville after celebrating their first hometown sellout concert, Daniels and The Charlie Daniels Band have grown the concept from its early days at the War Memorial Auditorium to the Starwood Amphitheater, to its first year at Music City’s Bridgestone Arena– it’s largest setting to-date.
Charlie Daniels has been outspoken on protecting our military, both in combat and when they come back home. “I learned early in my life that only two things protected America, the grace of Almighty God and the United States Military. It was that way then, it is that way now and will forever be that way as long as America remains a free and sovereign nation,” according to Daniels.
The Volunteer Jam’s title sponsor, Henry Repeating Arms, donated a $200,000 check on-stage to The Journey Home Project. Anthony Imperato, President of Henry Repeating Arms, said, “Although we can never repay them [U.S. Military servicemen and women] what they have done for us, Henry’s sponsorship of the Volunteer Jam and donation to The Journey Home Project is a small token of our gratitude.”
For more information on Charlie Daniels, please visit www.charliedaniels.com. For more on The Journey Home Project, visit www.thejourneyhomeproject.org.