Welcoming the Gatlin Brothers to the Venice Performing Arts Center is like saying hello to a friendly neighbor or reuniting with a cool uncle. It’s not like we know them, it’s just that their music is a part of our pasts. For me it was listening to Detroit Tigers baseball games over the radio with my mom and dad in the car.
And then when the game was over, Country music would fill the night air as I fell asleep to the likes of “All the Gold in California,” or “Broken Lady”, just a couple of the Gatlin Brother’s many hits.
Comprised of brothers, Rudy, Larry, and Steve, the Gatlin Brothers are Grammy award winning musicians whose illustrious careers span an impressive 64 years. I recently had the pleasure of speaking with the youngest of the trio, Rudy Gatlin about the upcoming show in Venice. I had been told ahead of time that he was the “funny one,” and after a great conversation, I’d also add charming and thoughtful.
The Gatlin Brothers list of accomplishments would make any parent proud. According to Rudy Gatlin, it was his parents desire to provide normalcy to their burgeoning careers that kept the boys close and out of trouble. Intermingled with fancy suits and musical gigs, the boys played football and attended church every Sunday. Today, their 91-year-old father remains their most loyal fan. “Family, church, faith and helping your neighbor,” are key to living a harmonious life and values Rudy is happy that his parents instilled in the boys.
The Gatlin Brothers are avid supporters of those who have served in the armed forces and the spouses and families left behind managing life on their own. Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) is a non-profit organization that provides assistance to families grieving the loss of a loved one who served in the military. Rudy spoke passionately about the charity and told the story of Bonnie Carroll, the founder of TAPS, who found herself without any assistance or any organizations to turn to when her husband was tragically killed in a plane crash in 1994. The Gatlin Brothers feel strongly that we all have a responsibility to those who have served on our behalf. Rudy and his brothers regularly participate in golf tournaments and other charitable events for the organization.
Gatlin Brothers Unplugged will be at Venice Performing Arts Center this Thursday, March 14th at 7:00 P.M. Tickets for the event range between $50 and $80, and a few seats still remain at the time of this publication. Rudy says the brothers enjoy coming on stage with their three guitars and their voices, much like the beginning days when their parents would dress them up and take them on a gig. He says the audience can expect an intimate evening where they’ll likely know every song they hear. They have a couple of covers planned as an homage to their old pals Johnny Cash and his wife, June Carter Cash. There may be a joke or two quips Rudy, the funny one of the trio, also some good old-fashioned Country and Folk music to soothe your soul and cleanse your mind.
Photos courtesy of The Gatlin Brothers Facebook page.