Charlie Daniels Band Member Killed in Car Crash

10/13/2011 12:00 PM PDT

Charlie Daniels Band Member -- Killed in Car Crash

The Charlie Daniels Band member who co-wrote "The Devil Went Down to Georgia" -- one of the greatest country songs EVER -- died yesterday ... when his SUV veered off the road and slammed into a tree ... this according to law enforcement.

Joel “Taz” DiGregorio was on his way to meet the band's tour bus in Tennessee -- when he crashed on Interstate 40 west of Nashville. Cops say Joel's car was the only vehicle involved in the crash.

"Taz" was a founding member of the band -- who spent the last 40 years playing keyboard and singing vocals ... in addition to writing songs.

Charlie Daniels released a statement -- saying, "I am in shock now, Taz was one of my best friends. We're going to miss you buddy. You were one of a kind and will never be forgotten."

The Charlie Daniels Band has cancelled their concerts tonight and Saturday in the wake of the tragedy.

He was 67.