14 Sep 2014
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Irish Charm and Southern Comfort

Andy Cooney and the Gatlins wrap up Music Under the Stars.

Irish Charm and Southern Comfort Irish Charm and Southern Comfort Irish Charm and Southern Comfort Irish Charm and Southern Comfort

It was one half Dublin and one half Dixie.

The Town of Oyster Bay's "Music Under the Stars" concert series wrapped up on Saturday with a concert twin bill featuring Irish American singer Andy Cooney and the veteran country music act Larry Gatlin and the Gatlin Brothers.

Cooney is no stranger to "Music Under the Stars," and is certainly no stranger to the area. 

He grew up in Massapequa and for him returning to Burns Park was like returning to his roots. 

"I'm so excited to be here," he said.

"I have been doing 'Music Under the Stars' for 15 years. I started doing small parks and as my career took off I finally got here to Burns."

Cooney made the performance before 4,000 people seem like a family gathering. He sang a cover version of Josh Groban's "You Raise Me Up" and dedicated it to his father who was in the audience. He then called his daughter on stage and sang the song "Daughter of Mine" to her. "Hopefully she never gets too old to come on stage with me," he said.

Then his son came out and sang the "The Water is Wide" while his father accompanied him on piano.

Then he took a break as his band played an instrumental version of  "The Fields of Athenry."

The local boy certainly was a hit with the audience "I am a huge Andy Cooney fan," said audience member Carol Zito. "He never puts on a bad show." 

Debbie Ring of Massapequa Park made a point of coming back to see Cooney. 

"I saw him last year at Music Under The Stars and I remembered he had a wonderful voice," she said.

Cooney and Larry Gatlin started the second part of the show by singing a duet together. It was the title track of the Irish singer's new CD "It'll Be Me," which was written by Gatlin.

Cooney then left the stage and the rest of the Gatlin Brothers joined Larry for an awe inspiring thee-part harmony version of "America the Beautiful."

Gatlin also exhibited some southern charm while addressing the audience, "As you can tell we aren't from around here," he said.

"You can tell by the way we talk. The truth is we don't talk funny, you guys do."

The Gatlins performed a variety of a music, some big hits, others not so much. 

After they performed the song, "I've Done Enough Dying Today," Gatlin said, "This was my favorite song I've ever wrote. It wasn't a hit, in fact it was a dud."

They also performed their biggest hit, "Help Me," not because it was popular, but because of a promise Gatlin made.

"I sang that song at June Carter's funeral," he said. "

"And when Johnny Cash died I made a promise that I would sing this song at every concert I ever do." 

Gatlin fan Susan Thomas of Hicksville was impressed by what she saw, and said she's seen the group five times.

"They did an amazing job. This was one of the best performances I've seen,"  she said.




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