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Category:    Home > Reviews > Concert > Rockumentary > Country > Southern > Volunteer Jam (1975/DVD-Video/Concert/Charlie Daniels Band)

Volunteer Jam (1975/DVD-Video/Concert/Charlie Daniels Band)

 

Picture: C-     Sound: B-     Extras: C     Concert: B-

 

 

Few know this, but Charlie Daniels is behind the launching of a series of concerts heavily featuring Southern/Country Rock called The Volunteer Jam.  The second one was actually recorded for theatrical film release from 1975 and issued in 1976.  Co-starring The Marshall Tucker Band, members of The Allman Brothers and more, the concert is certainly enough of an event to qualify as a Rockumentary in capturing yet another aspect of the counterculture and its music.

 

Certainly, some may consider this music oppressive and politically incorrect, but the latter is all the more reason it is worth seeing and hearing all over again.  In real life, this was music about something, a way of life and was honest, especially against the sugar-coated, awful Pop/Rock not-so-cleverly disguising itself as Country of any kind.  The tracks include:

 

 

1)     Whiskey

2)     Birmingham Blues

3)     Long Haired Country Boy

4)     No Place To Go

5)     Funky Junky

6)     Texas

7)     South's Gonna Do It

8)     Orange Blossom Special

9)     Twenty-Four Hours

10)  The Thrill Is Gone

11)  Jelly, Jelly Blues

12)  Sweet Mama

13)  Mountain Dew

 

 

If you are not as much a fan, you will only find so much rewatchability here, but could a surprisingly fine video transfer change that?

 

The 1.33 X 1 image is in very poor shape, looking like a rough low def transfer of either film or NTSC video.  It is so poor, it is hard to tell.  Can this be the best element available?  If this was issued theatrically, either the prints looked bad from a taping or there is a 16mm or 35mm print somewhere dying to get the HD treatment.  Either way, it is a very unfortunate presentation.

 

The DTS and slightly lesser Dolby Digital 5.1 mixes are better, if lacking the true range many Rockumentary releases eventually offered from their sound masters.  The Dolby 2.0 Stereo is poorer and DTS the preferred playback format.  This was not as disappointing.

 

The only extra is an interview with Daniels, but unless the theatrical promotional materials (trailers, teasers, TV ads, posters, vinyl soundtracks) arte tied up in some kind of legal turmoil, there is no excuse for those not to be included.  Die hard Country Rock fans will enjoy this, but even non-fans will appreciate what a big moment this was for the subgenre.

 

 

-   Nicholas Sheffo


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