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Larry Gatlin & The Gatlin Brothers at The Orange Blossom Opry in Weirsdale, Florida

Larry Gatlin &
The Gatlin Brothers at The Orange Blossom Opry in Weirsdale,
Florida
Written By: Scott Sexton
Being a huge fan of Larry
Gatlin and The Gatlin Brothers is one thing in life that I am very
proud of. So, to say it was exciting to see them perform live at the
Orange Blossom Opry in Weirsdale, Florida is an understatement. It
was something that was marked on the calendar and looked at every day
in waiting. Well when the show day finally arrived, Larry Gatlin was
announced and came out by himself. He welcomed the crowd and
proceeded to explain that over the years, he has heard people refer
to the “brothers” as his backup singers. Larry went on to
describe their sound is what makes up the “Gatlin Brothers,”
and without them, the sound would not be the same. So, in other
words, they are not his backup singers, they are the group. He then
announced Rudy and Steve Gatlin and they joined him on stage,
followed by the band. It was clear that as soon as the boys took
their places, the crowd was in for a wild show. Kicking things off
with the “Star Spangled Banner,” Larry and the boys bring some
true patriotic tones to every word. The audience loved it, which
helped open the hearts of everyone watching. Moving the show right
along, Larry kicked off “Night Time Magic” with ease. As he
started, there was little reaction from the fans, which caused him to
stop the music and get the audience laughing by joking with them
about the age of the song. Then, after starting again, the fans
yelled and seemed to really respond. This has always been a great
“Gatlin” tune and there is nothing like hearing it live. After
joking again with the fans, Larry went into “Houston (Means I’m
One Day Closer To You.)” Every time I hear this song, it takes me
back in time. The tempo is perfect and Larry’s voice, along with
Steve and Rudy’s harmonies, there is no denying this should be
considered one of the best songs in history. After singing a couple
tunes and telling a few jokes, Larry sat on a bar stool and started
telling the story about how he and his wife had moved to Nashville
years ago and how he had started writing songs. Well, after buying a
tiny little house outside of town, he received a call that Elvis was
going to be recording his song “Bitter They Are, Harder They Fall.”
This is by far a personal favorite and if you have never heard Larry
sing it live, you are truly missing out. His vocal range and unique
style, really brings this song to life. With the introduction “I
told her, to leave me alone, that’s what she’s done” will bring
chills up your spine. Folks, this is Country Music at its finest.
Speaking of Country Music, Larry kept the ole beer drinking, heart
breakin’ songs coming with “I Just Wish You Were Someone I
Loved.” Now, this was the first time I had ever heard it live and
he far surpassed any recording ever made of this tune. It is pure
gold in every way. After wrapping up a couple more tunes like
“Denver” and “Broken Lady,” Larry introduced a couple newer
songs from their latest project “Pilgrimage.” The first song was
“If I Ever See Utah Again” which included a great story about
Roger Miller. Then after telling a story about a conversation he had
with his son about modern Country Music, Larry explained that all
artists will do things their own way, but it will never be the same.
After all, “Johnny Cash Is Dead (And His House Burned Down.)” He
explained this is the title to the song and off the boys went into
one of the best songs of this generation. Yes, the music does sound
familiar, but like Larry explains, he gives half the credit to Johnny
and shares the royalties with his kids. Wrapping things up with “All
The Gold In California,” the crowd went wild and everyone was
singing along with every word. There is no denying the fans were
eating out of Larry’s hand. He has such a stage presence, it is
hard not to love him from the get go. Larry Gatlin and The Gatlin
Brothers are one of Country Music’s most legendary “family”
bands. If you have never seen them live, do yourself a favor and
check them out. They are by far one of the best live shows ever.

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