Fearless, cantankerous, and unabashedly patriotic in his graybeard years, Daniels and his stellar outfit check in here with a collection that taps into all three tendencies.

Fearless, cantankerous, and unabashedly patriotic in his graybeard years, Daniels and his stellar outfit check in here with a collection that taps into all three tendencies. The fiery boogie "Rock This Joint" does exactly that, and the Texas singalong "Waco" fits nicely alongside Daniels' cache of travelogue tunes. The band rocks hard Southern style on "Little Joe and Big Bill," then Travis Tritt joins the festivities on "Southern Boy." The pride of Mt. Juliet, Tenn., weighs in on NASCAR with "High Speed Heroes" and Cajun fun on "Fais Do Do," and "Crosstown Traffic" is an ambitious, Dixie-fried instrumental epic that evokes Daniel's mid-'70s monumental jams. Along that vein, Daniels resurrects another rave-up from that era with the rousing title cut. Already attracting attention is "The Last Fallen Hero," where Daniels doesn't mince words when he pays tribute to Sept. 11 heroes and vows "the blood of innocence in shame will not be shed in vain." The thinking here is that Daniels is something of a hero in his own right.—RW

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