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Charlie Daniels Band performing at Wild Bill's Friday

Special Photo. The legendary Charlie Daniels was inducted into the Grand Ole Opry on Jan. 19, 2008. Opry members Marty Stuart and Connie Smith presented Daniels with the Opry member award before a sold-out crowd.

Special Photo. The legendary Charlie Daniels was inducted into the Grand Ole Opry on Jan. 19, 2008. Opry members Marty Stuart and Connie Smith presented Daniels with the Opry member award before a sold-out crowd.

DULUTH -- The Charlie Daniels Band, one of the South's most popular and long-lived bands, will perform at Wild Bill's in Duluth on Friday. The concert takes place on the eve of the kickoff the club's Summer Rock series.

It's been almost a year since the Charlie Daniels Band has been in the Atlanta area, when they played with the Sean Hannity Freedom Tour. According to Daniels, he's missed Atlanta. Asked if there's a favorite hangout or restaurant he wants to visit when he comes here, Daniels answered:

"Not really. I just love the whole city. I'm a big Braves fan and as all Southerners, I consider Atlanta to be Dixie's answer to New York, only much better."

Daniels said that he and the band will play familiar favorite songs tonight, "but we'll also put a little icing on the cake. I like to show off the musicianship of my band members, and I think they're the best band I've ever had."

Does he have an all-time favorite CDB song himself?

"It's really hard to answer a question like that when you've written the songs. So many of them were written under memorable circumstances or have such a place in your heart, it's extremely hard to just name one of them," he said.

Fans can likely expect to hear such classics as "The Devil Went Down to Georgia" and "The South's Gonna Do it Again."

While Daniels and his band stay busy touring throughout much of the year, the Christian/country/southern rock icon devotes plenty of time to supporting U.S. troops. The legendary musician's song released last year, "Iraq Blues," was written during CDB tours of Iraq.

"I wrote 'Iraq Blues' on three separate trips to entertain the troops over there. It's about the troops and for the troops," Daniels said.

Other fundraising and charitable efforts Daniels supports include AIDS and cancer research, according to the band's website.

Fans also got a pleasant and humorous surprise when they saw Daniels featured in a GEICO commercial recently, answering the question, "Does Charlie Daniels play a mean fiddle?" In the commercial the musician appears to be having a great time.

"Commercials usually are not fun after the first three or four hours of doing the same thing over and over, unless you're working with a fun crew, which was the case in the GEICO commercial. It was a fun day," Daniels said.

Wild Bill's has also booked national hard rock bands for their Summer Rock series, which kicks off Saturday. Bands include Skid Row, Rehab, Aaron Lewis, Dokken and Cinderella. Club manager Tom Siliven is proud of this year's summer concert lineup.

"We've got some of the biggest national hard rock acts coming to Wild Bill's this summer, and we couldn't be more excited," said Siliven.

Visit www.wildbillsatlanta.com for Summer Rock Series show dates and times.