Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Wednesday Cash Coverstravaganza: Hell's Broke Loose In Georgia

Remember on Monday I said we'd be visiting Old Scratch again?  He's wily, that one, but mercifully there are a few musicians who've resisted him over the years and one was a proud boy named Johnny.  Let me say right now that I'm a total sucker for fiddle players.  There's something exhilirating about Alison Krauss throwing down on her fiddle, or Charlie Daniels, or Mark O'Connor.  Never heard of that last one?  Keep him in mind.

The Charlie Daniels Band released "The Devil Went Down to Georgia" on their 1979 album Million Mile Reflections and it was a huge hit in the dying days of disco.  It's an amazing piece of Southern storytelling with references to other songs and rhymes including the folk song "The House of the Rising Sun," covered by the Animals in the 60s, and a deal with the Devil.  In this case Old Scratch loses.

Johnny Cash didn't cover this song but he did appear in the 1993 all-star sequel, "Devil Comes Back to Georgia" as The Narrator, a kind of manic hillbilly preacher.  In this one Daniels is still the devilish fiddler but he hands Johnny's part off to Mark O'Connor, on whose Heroes album this song appears.  Rounding it out just for the hell of it are Travis Tritt as the voice of the Devil and Marty Stuart as the voice of Johnny.  When you have a bunch of hams, make salad I say.

It looks like the Devil lost again, outdone by a guy on a skateboard.  Ouch.  Almost makes you feel for him.  Okay, maybe not.  You all have a great Wednesday!


  1. I was wondering if this was going to come up after your previous post. I am so ambivalent about this song. I want to like it for all kinds of reasons but it was *so* overplayed at the time that I still cringe when I hear those fiddle licks.

  2. For me this is one of those songs that I can go years without hearing it and then suddenly I'll play it non-stop for two days. I know what you mean about it's being overplayed, though.


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