login | Register

Buffalo Roaming: The Angelus, A 2009 Retrospective

Posted: Dec 07, 2009

by Michael Buffalo Smith


It was the 19th annual Angelus Golf Tournament and Country Concert down in Tampa, Florida, and my own ninth event in a row. This year’s event was as much fun as ever, filled with great friends, great music, warm hearts and Holiday spirit.

As always, I made the ten-hour drive from Carolina to Tampa with my buddy Scott Greene,   rocking down the highway as I played him some of the new music I have been digging like the Cody McCarver solo record, the new Swampdawamp, some of the Allman Brothers 2009 Beacon CDs, Dixie Tabernacle, and a host of other CDs.

As we were approaching Tampa, our buddy Michael Proctor called me on the cell to ask if we might stop somewhere and pick up a can of hair spray for singer Amanda Martin who has left Nashville without it. We were happy to oblige. Only thing is, we stopped at four places before we finally landed at a CVS and grabbed a can of Aqua Net. Never let it be said that Buffalo and Scott let Amanda’s hair down.

After checking in at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, we chilled for a bit and I pulled out my acoustic guitar to brush up on my songs. At 5:30 on Thursday I would once again perform in the Lobby Bar, swapping off with Amanda for two hours. She played a lot of her original music, including “Whiskey Makes Me Cry,”  a new tune called “Full Moon,” and the song she wrote for Trace Atkins, “Sometimes a Man Takes a Drink.” I did several originals including “Into the Light,” “Karl Childers’ Blues” and a cover of Steve Young’s “Lonesome, Onry and Mean.” The set seemed to go over well, and it was great to see our old Angelus friends Tom and Ann Bell in the audience.

After the show everyone made their way to the “tent” out back for the  Pairing Party. Now normally we do all this in the Grand Ball Room, but this year the casino was hosting a slots tournament that took over the ballroom, so a huge tent was erected beside the outdoor stage, and the pairing party for Friday’s golf showdown took place there.

As always we had a wide variety of hors doeurves and beverages, and Charlie Daniels and Charlie Hayward jammed with the N - Kahootz Band. Charlie thrilled everyone with a blazing “Devil Went Down to Georgia.” 

I ran into one old friend after another, from cartoonist/songwriter Guy Gilchrist to Marshall Tucker road manager David Warren and everyone on between. Over the years many of these people have become like an extended family, which is one of the reasons we make the journey to Florida each year. Of course, the main reason is the children and residents of the Angelus house. That’s what this whole shootin’ match is about.

The biggest part of Thursday evening was sitting and talking with old friends. It’s one of he highlights of the event. Pretty soon it was crash and burn time. Tomorrow would be another big day. Hopefully the cold rain would be gone too.


The original plan was for Scott and I to drive over Friday morning to Long Boat Key, the place he vacations with his family at each year. I was looking forward to walking on the beach, but as it worked out, the skies were still cold and raining. In all of my nine years, this was the first time it had rained and the first time it was cold. Pretty good record, huh?

Breakfast was good. They always provide a nice buffet, and I was happy to have my meal with Pete McCaffrey, the sound technician for Angelus. We sat beside Tom and Ann Bell and Keith Glenn (Marshall Tucker sound man) and his lovely wife Lisa.

After visiting with more friends, it was soon time to head for the Lobby Bar to listen to Aaron Kelly, my good buddy. Aaron is 16 years old, and I have been watching him since he was about 12. He has always been a good singer, but now he is turning into an “excellent” singer and showman.  Aaron sang along with a soundtrack, and was joined by a friend on acoustic guitar to do several Hank Williams songs. I was watching with Pat Ellwood from Marshall Tucker and his S.O. Linda, who was mesmerized by Aaron’s delivery of “You Are So Beautful.” 

Confederate Railroad’s Danny Shirley and his wife were in the audience, along with Mike Proctor and a whole heap of people.

Amanda Martin was on next, and again did a great job. She caught the Buffalo off guard when  she announced that I was coming to the stage to do a couple of songs. She handed me her guitar and left the stage. It’s funny. I was so shocked I couldn’t remember what song to play. I ended up doing an original and a cover of “Fire On The Mountain,” and was happy to turn the show back over to Martin and return to my seat beside Proctor.

Now Friday night was the big banquet and auction, and it was a little different this year in the tent. There had been some leaking from the rain, and crew folks were busy vacuuming up puddles and re-routing the hundreds of people to avoid any accidents. Kudos to the crew for a job well done.

We ended up being seated with folks we didn’t know, but of course Scott made fast friends with the lady beside him. The meal was served in courses, ending with a nice steak and the biggest damned piece of cheese cake you have ever seen in your life. No, i didn’t eat it all. It was that big!

Charlie Daniels lead the prayer before the meal, and the Sweeny Family again performed their hillbilly comedic set with some fine banjo and fiddle picking during dinner. Later there was an auction with all sorts of amazing items. Tammy and Gar Williams presented sponsor awards and a few special; gifts, including a pair of beautifully painted acoustic guitars (with ocean scenes) given to guest stars Captain Keith and Monte Colburn of Discovery’s “The Deadliest Catch.”

Charlie Daniels again rocked out with N-Kahootz, playing some smokin blues, “Wooly Swamp” and of course. “The Devil Went Down To Georgia.”

I was a little sad that Tommy Crain wasn’t there. I believe it was his first absence since I have been coming. There were a few other regulars I missed this year as well, including baseball’s Brad Lesley and video guy Rick Broyles. I hope they are all able to come next year.


It started out overcast and cold, but warmed up a bit during the big outdoor country concert. We were truly blessed with clear skies. No rain!

The big show began with N-Kahootz, followed by a great set from our friends Wiley Fox. Twelve-year-old singer Suite Caroline wowed the crowd with her original music and a great cover of that Swift kid’s “Love Story.”

Confederate Railroad ripped it up again as they do each year, playing all of their best loved songs, including “Trashy Women,” complete with volunteer dancers from the audience. Cody McCarver came out from behind his keyboards to strap on an acoustic and deliver his solo hit “In God’s Eyes” from his magnificent debut album.

My boys, The Marshall Tucker Band were next on deck. Stuart Swanlund returned to the band and they have a new lead guitarist since last year at this time. A good old friend of mine from Spartanburg, Rick Willis adds the “Toy Caldwell” touch and sounds just great. Willis sang “Blue Ridge Mountain Skies”  and sax/flute/keyboard man Marcus Henderson knocked one out of the park singing “Take The Highway.” Lead singer Doug Gray performed their hits “Fire On The Mountain” and “This Ol Cowboy.” The set closed with the band’s annual guest-filled jam on “Can’t You See.”  I was again happy to be invited to sing a verse and add backing vocals with my buddy Guy Gilchrist. The stage was full of guitar jammers and singers galore, and it was a stone cold blast. It always is. Again it was fun hanging out backstage and re-connecting with the MTB and crew.

After Tucker, we went over to the VIP Tent for some coffee and to watch the Bama vs Florida game. Everyone was pulling for The Gators except a couple of us who were grinning while the Tide rolled on to win the game.

Great sets followed from Matt Gary, Lee Brice, and Trent Tomlinson. While all the music was great, the fans were anticipating the arrival of the man with the white beard that comes around every December. No, not Santa. Charlie Daniels.

The CDB was red hot. I was again blessed to have the perfect vantage point at stage right, where I stood with Guy Gilchrist and Aaron Kelly.

The band rocked out on “Drinkin My Baby Goodbye” and Charlie favorites like “Simple Man,” “What This World Needs is a Few More Rednecks,” and one of my old favorites, “Saddle Tramp.” Pat McDonald was playing powerhouse drums along side Charlie Hayward’s bass. The rhythm section’s mix was ideal, and I was enjoying every minute along with Bruce Brown and Chris Wormers guitars, Taz DiGregorio’s keyboard magic and of course, Charlie Daniels on guitar and fiddle.

The end jam is always a highlight and tonight was to be no different. The stage filled with what seemed like thirty or more musicians in addition to the CDB, including Suite Caroline, Danny Shirley, Rick Willis, The Sweeny Family, Guy Gilchrist and myself.

The jam began with a rousing “I’ll Fly Away” and ended with “The Devil Went Down to Georgia.” There were some fine guitar and vocal solos, and a red hot fiddle duel between Charlie and the girl from the Sweeny Family.

After the concert, we all made our way to the big tent for something new and different, a full on wrestling - rasslin,’ that is - exhibition. The whole thing started with Charlie Daniels being called into the ring, where he proceeded to be ragged on by three new “heels” (bad guys). They were yelling at Charlie and calling him Santa Claus and telling them they didn’t like him or his music. Before Charlie could unleash the signature “Long Haired Country Boy Elbow Drop,” three new “good guys” came out of the back and into the ring to defend Charlie, beating up the bad guys and saving the day. It was hilarious.

The show lasted for over two hours. I believe it will become a staple of the Angelus event. Southern rock, country, and rasslin.’ Now all we need is a race.

It was once again crash and burn time. Sunday would be here early, and Scott and I would have breakfast with Tom and Ann before heading back to Greenville with a whole bunch of fun memories of another great event. Be sure to check out all the photo albums from the event linked below.


It has become a tradition. Each year, I pick the people I feel were most outstanding in certain areas during that wonderful event known as The Angelus Charlie Daniels Celebrity Golf & Country Concert event, kind of like the Senior Superlatives in our old high school yearbooks. Just for fun. Here they are...

Guy Gilchrist. The cartoonist/singer sang with everybody and helped MC the auction to boot!

MISS CONGENIALITY: Suite Caroline. Sweet, kind, and talented. And she’s only 12.

FAVORITE STAR: Charlie Daniels


MOST ATHLETIC: All them dang rasslers Saturday night

BEST DRESSED: Pat Ellwood of Marshall Tucker

BEST NEWCOMER: Suite Caroline

The Deadliest Catch guys. You could not PAY me enough to do their job!

: Sorry, MTB, the Charlie Daniels finale piled ‘em in....

The entire Saturday concert!

MOST OUTSTANDING STAR(S): The Kids of The Angelus!

MISSING FRIENDS: Rene Gray, Gates Nichols, Kerry Creasy, Madeline Taft


“It’s all about the kids. I call ‘em kids, but they ain’t all kids. But they are the reason we are here. ” - Doug Gray, from the stage

Keep it Real. Keep it Southern.



Scott Greene Photos

Rob Dunbar Photos

Michael Buffalo Smith Photos


related tags


Wireless from AT&T


gongsi028 says...

ON February the First 1887, the Lady Vain was lost by collision with a derelict when about the latitude 1' S. and longitude 107' W.UGG Boots Clearance On January the Fifth, 1888--that is eleven months and four days after-- my uncle, Edward Prendick, a private gentleman, who certainly went aboard the Lady Vain at Callao, and who had been considered drowned, was picked up in latitude 5' 3" S. and longitude 101' W. in a small open boat of which the name was illegible, but which is supposed to have belonged to the missing schooner Ipecacuanha. He gave such a strange account of himself that he was supposed demented. Subsequently he alleged that his mind was a blank from the moment of his escape from the Lady Vain. His case was discussed among psychologists at the time as a curious instance of the lapse of memory consequent upon physical and mental stress. The following narrative was found among his papers by the undersigned, his nephew and heir, but unaccompanied by any definite request for publication. The only island known to exist in the region in which my uncle was picked up is Noble's Isle, a small volcanic islet and uninhabited. It was visited in 1891 by H. M. S. Scorpion. A party of sailors then landed, but found nothing living thereon except certain curious white moths, some hogs and rabbits, and some rather peculiar rats. So that this narrative is without confirmation in its most essential particular. With that understood, there seems no harm in putting this strange story before the public in accordance, as I believe, with my uncle's intentions. There is at least this much in its behalf: my uncle passed out of human knowledge about latitude 5' S. and longitude 105' E., and reappeared in the same part of the ocean after a space of eleven months.

Robert N Shepherd says...

Thanks Buffalo. We have your report via Tom at www.charliedaniels.com HOKIE

chicksrule says...

Excellent. Looks like an old style Charlie jam.

deltablue says...

Great article and pics Buf. Wish we could have made it down.

Please login or you can to leave a comment.

If you aren't registered, Register Now to start leaving comments.

Copyright 1998-2018 by Swampland Inc. All rights reserved.