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Larry Gatlin and the Gatlin Brothers

Larry Gatlin And The Gatlin Brothers Sing Their Family Gospel Favorites – 2004 (Dualtone)

Reviewed by Dan MacIntosh

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CDs by Larry Gatlin and the Gatlin Brothers

Listening to Larry Gatlin and his two brothers sinking their teeth into familiar gospel favorites is sometimes like watching Green Bay Packer quarterback Brett Favre play football: Favre would most likely be playing football on his weekends, even if he wasn't getting paid for it - just for the love of the game.

Similarly, Gatlin obviously cherishes these old church songs, and it shows. You never get the impression that Gatlin "phoned in" his vocals. Instead, he sounds reverent and hushed when singing "Sweet Hour of Prayer" and positively jubilant during the hot stepping "Love Lifted Me."

"Do Lord" is transformed here into a finger-snapping, organ-swinging jazz tune, and "Amazing Grace" is clearly saturated in sincerity. Unlike much of today's contemporary Christian music, this release accentuates what's truly great about the gospel music tradition. It contains plenty of recognizable words and melodies and puts them into contexts where they still retain potent relevancy.