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Wednesday, 30 August 2006 00:00

Charlie Daniels rocks Canton Sept. 1

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The Town of Canton’s Labor Day celebrations reach fever pitch this weekend with the Paper Bowl — the football game between Haywood County rivals Pisgah and Tuscola high schools — followed by a concert on Sept. 1 featuring renegade country rocker Charlie Daniels.

The general admission concert held at Pisgah Memorial Staduim begins at 10 p.m. Tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for children ages 12 and younger. Tickets are available through etix.com and at area businesses.

Daniels was born and raised in North Carolina. His fierce love of the land and absolute candor have made him a legend. The Smoky Mountain News spoke with him last year, prior to a concert held at Western Carolina University. The following contains excerpts from that interview:

SMN: With songs like “The South is Going To Do It Again” and “Southern Boy,” do you think your music or southern rock in general played a role in the South overcoming stereotypes of inferiority held by the rest of the nation, or energizing Southerners to stand up and be proud of their culture?

Daniels: I don’t think it had any particular role. I think people had already been doing that, but I think the music gave them a rallying point. The younger generation that was around at that time started having a lot more respect for Southern lifestyles and Southern things and maybe the music introduced them to look a little further into this place called the South. But the first big music venues we had were in the north. The same with the other bands. People in the north started wearing cowboy hats.

SMN: Do you think the South is more patriotic than the country as a whole?

Daniels: I find patriotism to be very high in this country. I go coast to coast, border to border about every year in this country, and it gives me a fairly good idea about how people feel about patriotism. It’s not reflected in the major media. You aren’t going to read about it in The New York Times or see it on CNN.

We have become such a media-oriented people. We are so affected by what comes across that little screen. We have certain people that have wormed their way into top positions in the media world that have their own views and political agendas and want to propagate those.

SMN: Is that why you started the Soap Box (Daniels’ online blog)?

Daniels: “I started out writing whatever happened to be on my mind. I started doing one a week and our readership started picking up so I started doing it twice a week. I enjoy writing it. It is kind of fun for me. It is kind of a little outlet for me from time to time if there’s something I feel strongly about.”

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