Charlie Daniels is re-teaming with producer James Stroud for his new project, but this time, their pairing isn't as artist and producer. Daniels and Stroud join together as fellow musicians for a new album titled Beau Weevils - Songs in the Key of E, and they're debuting one of the new tracks exclusively with Taste of Country.

Daniels describes the new songs as "Downhome, swampy rock meets funk, with a little taste of 'Delta' type of style," and he employs all of those elements on "Mudcat," which centers around an acoustic blues riff that serves as a bed for a down-and-dirty, funky jam.

Lyrically, "Mudcat" is about a threatening rural swamp character drawn straight from Daniels' fertile imagination. "He set out on the front porch of his shack / Way back in the middle of the long-leaf pines / With a beat-up Stella guitar / And a half a gallon of homemade wine," the lyrics describe the protagonist of the song, who goes on to terrify people so they will never return. "Mudcat" actually set the tone for all 10 of the songs on Beau Weevils - Songs in the Key of E. Daniels wrote or co-wrote all of the tracks.

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"The whole thing started one day when I, as I often do, was fooling around with my guitar and came up with the opening riff on a song that eventually turned out to be 'Mudcat,'" the 81-year-old country icon explains. "That song set the style for the rest of the songs I would write, that all lent themselves to being played in the key of E, hence the title."

Stroud's long list of production credits includes the Charlie Daniels Band's Homesick Heroes from 1988, 1989's Simple Man and Renegade from 1991. He's also had a long career as an executive at several Nashville labels, where he has helped shepherd the careers of artists including Toby Keith, Vince Gill, George Strait, Reba McEntire and Chris Young. But Daniels has been looking for a way to partner with him musically for years.

"James is one of the finest and most soulful drummers in the business and I figured we could get together, musician to musician, and come up with something special," Daniels states. "We just needed a vehicle in the form of songs that would fit the bill."

The new album features Daniels on lead vocals, guitar and fiddle, Stroud on drums and percussion, Billy Crain on guitar and Charlie Hayward on bass.

Beau Weevils - Songs in the Key of E is set for release on Friday (Oct. 26). It is currently available for pre-sale at Amazon.

Listen to Beau Weevils, "Mudcat"

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