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Backstage at Charlie Daniels’ 80th birthday Volunteer Jam in Nashville on Nov. 30, artist after artist talked about the great contribution the Country Music Hall of Famer made, and the recurring thought was the gap that Charlie bridged between rock and country music.

While mainstream country radio may seem more urban-influenced than rock these days, there are still artists out there with great roots in rock influences, and one of them proved it during his time onstage at Vol Jam.

RELATED: Luke Bryan talks about how the legendary Charlie Daniels scared him as a child


The 14,000-person crowd inside the Bridgestone Arena roared with approval as soon as Chris and his band hit the stage, and the roar didn’t stop as he peeled through a set list that showcased the humble Kentuckians impressive picking skills. However, when Chris launched into a mashup of the Lynyrd Skynyrd classic “Freebird” and his own “The Devil Named Music,” the roof of the arena rattled in a full-on singalong.

Absent from the stage last night was Chris’ wife, frequent stage companion and ethereal harmony singer, Morgane, but that creates an excuse to go out and see this talented couple when they hit the road again in 2017.

RELATED: Watch entertainer of the year nominee Chris Stapleton’s emotional tribute to his biggest fans

In a little over a year, Chris Stapleton has almost become a household name. Known for his gritty voice, long hair and beard, and insanely poetic lyrics, the man whose stature belies his gentle nature, has racked up awards, including ACMs, CMAs and Grammys, for his most recent album, “Traveller.”

The Rare Country Awards honor the year’s best in country music as determined by fans. Cast your vote at RareCountryAwards.com.
Winners to be announced Dec. 15.

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