It's been nearly seven years since the Gatlin Brothers released new music. Partnering with Curb Records and in celebration of six decades of music, the brothers are returning to their roots with the release of "The Gospel According to Gatlin," available on November 6, 2015. Larry and the brothers knew for some time they were ready to get back in the studio but couldn't quite decide on a direction. That's when God gave Larry a message.
Larry recalls, "I was at The Masters golf tournament a couple of years ago as the guest of my old friend Charlie Yates. I was also talking to my very best old friend, GOD, about the rather awful shape the world is in. I said 'Big Guy (The Big Guy's okay with that) what am I doing wrong?' It was then that I heard His 'still small voice' whispering in the top of the Georgia Pines - at least I think that's what it was ... 'GO BACK TO YOUR ROOTS LARRY WAYNE.'"
The 11-track album, produced by the Gatlins, includes all new Gospel songs, each of which was written or co-written by Larry Gatlin. "What Would Jesus Do?" asks what would the Son of God do if he came to Nashville? Larry notes, "I think HE would look around and go where the 'folks' are and sample - up to a point - what the 'folks' are having... undoubtedly the 'folks' would feel better after hangin' around with Him ... unlike hangin' around with a lot of 'religious types.'"
One song that has raised eyebrows is their latest single "Young Jewish Lawyer." Larry says, "Well, I really ain't sure how this one came about except to say that I heard a preacher, somewhere, some time- don't know when, where, how, or who- say that although he was guilty, he was not going to be afraid of hell fire because he would have a young JEWISH lawyer to plead his case before the heavenly judge, GOD ALMIGHTY HIMSELF," says Gatlin.
Some have deemed the lyrics controversial, but Gatlin sees it differently. "Christ was of Jewish heritage. He was a young, ordained rabbi. Those were the lawgivers. Some think I am being anti-Semitic when I say, 'Get a good Jewish lawyer,' but let me tell you: It's not disparaging or anti-Semitic at all. The reason there are so many great Jewish lawyers is that their parents raised them in the law of God. It's called the Torah. They hold them accountable and make them go to school. The Jewish custom is to have them take care of their families, and to work, and doing their job. It's not anything derogative at all. I have been to Israel on three occasions. I know where it says in the Bible 'God will bless those who bless Israel, and will curse those who curse Israel, so I'm going to stand with them' -- unlike our president, who wants Israel to go back to the 1968 borders. I want a young Jewish lawyer -- the Lord Christ -- to stand and defend me. That's what the song means."
Rudy Gatlin backs up his older brother: "You can't say anything about anybody or anything now. Everybody is so sensitive. The first time I heard it, I knew exactly what he was talking about."
Another notable song on the album is the Larry Gatlin and Billy Dean-penned "An American With A Remington." Shortly after writing the tune, Gatlin and Dean posted a video performance of the song to Facebook. Within 24 hours, the video reached 5 million people.
The album also features the award-winning Gaither Vocal Band on "Clean" as well as a fiddle performance by legendary country star Charlie Daniels on "What Would Jesus Do?"
"Some folks may think that the title of the album is a bit much. Steve aka Shib and Rudy aka Rudes and I don't think so and we think the Big Guy is okay with the title of the album too," says Larry. "Because ya see, if we know one thing for sure about the Big Guy, it's this, He has a reeeeeeel goooooood sense of humor. It's called graaaaaaace!"
The Gospel According to Gatlin Track Listing:
1. I Have Not Been About My Father's Business
2. What Would Jesus Do? (featuring Charlie Daniels)
3. Young Jewish Lawyer
4. Clean (with The Gaither Vocal Group)
5. I Didn't Really Know How To Love You
6. Down Down Down
7. All Behind Me Now
8. Thank God Mary Loved Her Unborn Child
9. I Can Build Another House
10. What Are You Waiting For?
11. An American With A Remington