There were rumblings as to who might be the widely touted surprise guests at the 40th Anniversary celebration of Charlie Daniels Volunteer Jam.
They had to be big stars.
They had to be able to play one heck of a song alongside the legend that is Charlie Daniels.
And yes, they had to have some crazy passion for U.S. military members and veterans.
Enter Eric Church.
Church entered stage left to the ovation of a shocked sold out crowd at the Bridgestone Arena August 12 and quickly tore into “In America,” a fiery patriotic anthem that The Charlie Daniels Band released in May of 1980. While most looked straight at Church’s passion delivering the lyrics, it was Daniels’ smile throughout the song that was so darn endearing.
“That song is older than you!” Daniels quipped at the conclusion of the song that just about the assembled crowd into an all-out frenzy.
The moment was made that much cooler considering that the two North Carolina natives had never shared the stage before until this very moment.
Church was not the only surprise guest of the rip-roaring night, which also included dynamic performances from Blackberry Smoke, Lynyrd Skynyrd and even Jamey Johnson just before the end of the four hour musical marathon.