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Album Review

Gatlin Brothers Gospel features six Larry Gatlin-penned gospel tunes, accompanied by six standards. Larry sings lead throughout and is joined by his harmonizing brothers Steve and Rudy. The collection falters at first, with a perfunctory version of "Just a Closer Walk With Thee" and a reverent take on "Amazing Grace" marred by a drippy, saxophone-led arrangement. But things brighten considerably with "Let the Lower Lights Be Burning" and the rousing country gospel of "I'll Fly Away" (even if the latter features more irritating sax). While the Gatlins seemed to sleep through some of the standards of the album's first half, they shine on Larry's own material. Tasteful mandolin and acoustic guitar give "Healing Stream" a warm, campfire revival feel, while "Lay Them Down/Rock of Ages" gives Larry a chance to show off his powerful upper register. The strong finish saves Gatlin Brothers Gospel from being simply average and is a showcase for the talented songwriting and harmonies of this superstar country family.

Biography

Genre: Christian & Gospel

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s

Led by Larry Gatlin, the Gatlin Brothers are one of the most popular country groups in the music's history. Adopting the close harmony vocal techniques of the Louvins and the Everlys to the highly polished country-pop era, Larry and the Gatlin Brothers scored a number of hits during the '70s and '80s. Often, the group walked the line between intricate, inventive country and pure commercial material, which resulted in strong sales but occasionally poor reviews. Nevertheless, they remained near the...
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