Nickelback reveal ridiculously shreddy, borderline power-metal take on Charlie Daniels’ The Devil Went Down to Georgia

In what is, amazingly, only the second most bizarre cover (thanks, Korn and Yelawolf) of Charlie Daniels’ The Devil Went Down to Georgia to be released since Daniels’ death at the age of 83 on June 6, Canadian rockers Nickelback have shared their own, borderline power-metal version of the 1979 country classic.

And just to up the craziness of the endeavor, the ‘Back boys enlisted fellow Canadian electric guitar player Dave Martone to replace the original’s racing fiddle lines with some seriously over-the-top shredding.

As for why this has happened? 

Explained Nickelback front man Chad Kroeger, “Charlie Daniels seamlessly fused country, southern rock, Western swing, blues and bluegrass into a sound and style all his own. More importantly, his ability to tell compelling and relatable stories through his songwriting has stuck with me to this day. None more so than The Devil Went Down to Georgia.

“I was only five years old when that song came out and it remains one of my all-time favorites. A few years ago, we recorded a rough take during a studio session with our good friend Dave Martone. It was a fun song to tackle and brought back so many good memories for us all. When Charlie passed last month, the world lost a music icon. I hope our version will bring half as much joy as his did for me and so many others."

Now sit back and let Kroeger, as he ad-libs in the song, “show you how the fuck it’s done.”

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Richard Bienstock

Rich is the co-author of the best-selling Nöthin' But a Good Time: The Uncensored History of the '80s Hard Rock Explosion. He is also a recording and performing musician, and a former editor of Guitar World magazine and executive editor of Guitar Aficionado magazine. He has authored several additional books, among them Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck, the companion to the documentary of the same name.