Charile Daniels to headline Pigs in Paradise at Seminole Casino

Charlie Daniels Band will headline the "Pigs in Paradise" National Championship BBQ Festival at the Seminole Casino Immokalee on Sunday, Nov. 18, 2012.

Charlie Daniels Band will headline the "Pigs in Paradise" National Championship BBQ Festival at the Seminole Casino Immokalee on Sunday, Nov. 18, 2012.

— Charlie Daniels has had a storied career in the music industry — but he has never played in Immokalee.

Now, he can carve that missing notch on his guitar strap when the Charlie Daniels Band takes the stage on Sunday, headlining the "Pigs in Paradise" National Championship BBQ Festival at the Seminole Casino Immokalee.

Daniels has played with everyone from Pete Seeger to Dolly Parton, from Willie Nelson to Stevie Ray Vaughn, from Little Richard to Ringo Starr. He played at Jimmy Carter's inaugural ball and at the Super Bowl, was featured in "Urban Cowboy," and recently performed an updated version of his classic "The Devil Went Down to Georgia" for Monday Night Football, when Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos took on the Atlanta Falcons.

Pigs in Paradise National Championship BBQ Festival

What: Six nationally renowned ribbers will cook up the best in ribs, pulled pork and beef brisket, in hopes of winning the championship title

When: Friday to Sunday. Gates open at 3 p.m. Friday and at 11 a.m. Saturday and Sunday

Information: 800-218-0007 or www.seminolecasinoevents.com

Friday

■ Festivities begin at 3 p.m. with pig races, live music and award-winning ribs. At 6 p.m., six local celebrities will be paired with national championship ribbers to compete in a cook-off challenge.

■ The Devonshires will perform from 7 to 9:30 p.m.

Saturday

■ The Smokin' Hot Rods Car Show will be held from 1 to 5 p.m. Car participants will receive $20 in free play and a commemorative "Pigs in Paradise" T-shirt.

■ The Grayson Rogers Band will take the stage at noon, playing country tunes

■ JJ McCoy, 2001 Gospel Entertainer of the Year, will perform from 4 to 5:30 p.m.

■ Joe Nichols, four time Grammy Award nominee, will perform from 7:30 to 9 p.m.

Sunday

■ Heavenly Hog Bike Rally, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

■ Uproot Hootenanny, Irish Folk cover band, will perform from 12:45 to 2:15 p.m.

■ The Nouveaux Honkies, a local band, will perform from 3 to 4:30 p.m.

■ Charlie Daniels will take the stage at 5 p.m.

Daniels has a museum devoted to him, a star on the Music City Walk of Fame, Grammy awards, an honorary doctorate, and is a member of the Grand Ole Opry. He is best known for the Southern rock scene of the 1970s and '80s, with hits including "Longhaired Country Boy," "Uneasy Rider," "The Legend of Wooley Swamp," "In America," and "The South's Gonna Do It Again."

During more than 50 years in the business, he has written songs and had hits in country-western, folk, bluegrass, Christian, patriotic anthems, blues and even Tex-Mex music.

Speaking on the phone from his home near Nashville, Tenn., Daniels said his eclectic approach to musical genres comes from his youth, when in the small Southern communities, radio stations had to be all things to all people.

"In the early days, in the late '30s and the '40s, before TV, there weren't as many stations, and they weren't formatted," Daniels said. "They'd play music for the housewives during the day, gospel on Sunday and dance music for Saturday night."

Many of Daniels' most memorable songs are stories set to music.

"A lot of the time it comes out that way," he said, crediting his upbringing in the rural South. "Someone who could tell a story, and hold people's attention, around the fire or out hunting, was the center of attention."

Daniels started as a guitar player, a session man in Nashville, but he also is known for his fiddle playing.

"People always ask, if I had to give up one, which would it be, but I can't imagine not playing either one," he said.

At 76, Daniels said he has no thoughts of retiring.

"For what? So I could sit around and play guitar in my living room?" he said.

Daniels was known as being a heavyweight in the music industry, a bear of a man, but said he has been taking care of himself and has lost weight. His hands are "not quite as supple" as they once were — he's had carpal tunnel issues and suffered a stroke a couple of years ago — but the consummate showman has experience and a six-piece band backing him up.

Of all the musicians he has played with, asked to single out one, Daniels thought a moment, and went with Dylan.

"Working with Bob Dylan on 'Nashville Skyline' was a real eye opener. He is one of the greatest artists ever, and changed the musical tastes of America and the world," he said.

Daniels pointed to his own guitar solo on "Country Pie" as a piece of work of which he is truly proud.

Since his days as a vocal Jimmy Carter supporter, Daniels has become an outspoken conservative voice in the music industry. The 2012 presidential election, he said, "didn't go the way I wanted, but the people have spoken, and we'll see. I hope to see Obama be the greatest president ever," but he said he has doubts.

One thing about the campaign riles Daniels:

"People say if you criticize Obama you're a racist, and that's a lie. We should get past caring about color."

Daniels said he believes his own biggest contribution has been as a job creator.

"The thing I'm proudest of is I've kept 30 people employed for 30 years — musicians, techs, engineers, roadies and the fan club."

And he has been married to one woman, his wife Hazel, for 48 years.

"Oh yeah, I love barbecue. I'm looking forward to it," said the man who wrote "(What the World Needs Is) A Few More Rednecks." He continues to write new songs, "and we mix them in, but we always do the songs people expect to hear," he said. "You come on down to the show, and let's have a good time."

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