On this, Charlie Daniels' second release, there are obvious signs of a bright future for the guitar- and fiddle-playing hillbilly rocker. Along for the ride is Joel "Taz" DiGregoria, Charlie's longtime bandmate and keyboard wizard. Taz even takes lead vocal duties on one song, "Billy Joe Young," and his ivory tickling is a highlight of this historical Southern rock document. Daniels rocks with the intensity of a downbound train on "Great Big Bunches of Love," and on his cover of the Jerry Lee Lewis chestnut "Drinkin' Wine, Spo-Dee-O-Dee." A true Southern poet, Charlie Daniels is seen here in the infancy of his artistic development, but even at this early stage, the poet is alive and well.
Eddie Daniels is such a monster on the clarinet that all of his GRP recordings are worth acquiring. This one, however, due to the somewhat commercial nature of some of the tunes (and the lightly funky rhythm sections), is of lesser interest compared to the classics such as Breakthrough. Daniels sounds fine but he is far better than much of the material (generally written by either the clarinetist, Rob Mounsey or Dave Grusin).
Nightrider was the third studio album by The Charlie Daniels Band released on November 25, 1975.
Frank Sinatra turned 80 in 1995, and Capitol released this two-disc "best of" in celebration. Sinatra's initial tenure at Capitol, which lasted from 1953 to 1962, is generally considered to be his artistic watermark. His voice and technique had improved considerably since his initial peak of popularity in the mid-'40s (the "swinging" phrasing most commonly associated with Sinatra's style really came to the fore during the Capitol years); he also had the good fortune to work with Nelson Riddle and Billy May, whose inventive arrangements certainly brought out the best in Sinatra's singing. This set's song selection is tough to argue with, but you'll really need to get all of Sinatra's Capitol albums to gauge the true measure of the man's artistry. ~ Dan Epstein