Listen (if you dare): Nickelback covers Charlie Daniels’ ‘The Devil Went Down to Georgia’

And it might be a sin: Nickelback has released its version of the 1979 country-rock smash “The Devil Went Down to Georgia”
(Mike Windle / Getty Images )

If Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion’s “WAP” wasn’t quite your taste as the defining collaboration of the summer, Nickleback covering the Charlie Daniels Band is definitely an alternative choice.

Daniels, the country-rock legend turned rancorous Fox News commentator, died in July at 83 after suffering a stroke. His 1979 smash “The Devil Went Down to Georgia” is one of the defining songs of that era in country music, know for its acrobatic fiddle playing and rip-roaring story line about Satan’s duel with a violinist for his soul.

It’s a state-fair staple, but a new cover heralds the return of the massively successful (yet often punchlined) Canadian rockers Nickleback, who released their metal-tinged version of “Devil” today, with guitarist Dave Martone handling the double-time lead work.


It’s not the first nü-metal version of the song to be released since Daniels’ death — Korn and Yelawolf did their own in June — but it is the first new music from Nickleback in 3 1/2 years. The band, whose 2005 album “All The Right Reasons” has been certified diamond (10 million-plus units distributed), has previously said it’s looking in a more aggressive direction for its forthcoming album.

If the crowds to see Smash Mouth at the Sturgis motorcycle rally in South Dakota are any indication, there are plenty of people who are indeed willing to risk meeting the Devil (or COVID-19) to hear rock music live again.