A pacemaker won't slow Charlie Daniels down. The Charlie Daniels Band frontman says his fiddling or movements on stage won't be compromised with the device implanted in his chest. He underwent the procedure last month after being hospitalized with pneumonia. He returns to the stage Friday night (April 12) in Verona, N.Y.

"I got a steady 70 beats per minute now," Daniels tells Taste of Country sister radio station WGNA with a familiar chuckle, adding, "and I'm ready to rock!" The singer played a tune-up show with Phil Vassar recently and verified that he's back to normal, with no ill-effects from a procedure that forced him to postpone two dates.

"I think I've been dealing with this for a number of years, just didn't know what it was," he says. Doctors determined his heart was healthy, but beating a little too slowly. The timing device was messed up, he said.

Recently the Charlie Daniels Band finished second in Taste of Country's March Bandness competition to find the best country band of all time. Alabama won, and Daniels admitted that they probably should have.

"I think that they truly are the top of the heap," he tells WGNA's Kevin Richards. "If we were gonna lose to somebody I'd rather it be Alabama than anybody else."

Look for Daniels on Brad Paisley's new album. He raps on a song called 'Karate.' The group has recently released a new album called 'Hits of the South' which pays tribute to southern rockers like Lynyrd Skynyrd, the Allman Brothers Band and the Marshall Tucker Band.

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