Voice, Mufftar. Or “Malaguena,” Branson’s Doug Gabriel’s the real deal

Doug playing "William Tell Overture" on the

Doug Gabriel’s voice and instrumental talent are a Branson treasure and a joy to experience. The Doug Gabriel Morning Show at the Jim Stafford Theatre provides an excellent opportunity to not only hear and see Doug but ro experience one of the best live bands in Branson, the vocals of his wife Cheryl and catch up on the Gabriel family.

Starting with the opening number “Firecracker,” Doug’s considerable vocal talents are displayed throughout the show. One of Doug’s signature songs, “Unchained Melody,” presented as only Doug can do it, will give most people “goose bumps.”

Doug’s instrumental talents cover everything from the “Mufftar” to the piano. The “Mufftar” is a unique instrument made from the muffler of a 1969 Ford Thunderbird muffler by Doug’s dad, Don, when Doug first decided he wanted to play the guitar as a child. Doug still plays the original “Mufftar” in each show providing his audiences with a unique musical experience they will not hear anywhere else or soon forget. One thing for sure, no one has ever heard the “William Tell Overture” played like this before.

Doug and Cheryl having fun as "Kenny and Dolly"
with "Islands In The Stream."

Doug’s considerable instrumental talents are also demonstrated in his piano rendition of “Exodus,” but it is his unique performance of “Malaguena,” on the acoustical guitar that provides the instrumental “show stopper.” To witness the combination of talent, passion, excitement, energy, and showmanship as Doug performs this number is to see something that most people will never forget. It adds new meaning to the term “something special

The band consisting of Bob Roth on bass, Ed Synan on piano and synthesizer, Michael Hermsmeyer on the fiddle, steel guitar, acoustic guitar, synthesizer Mitch Kersey: guitar and mandolin Josh Gabriel on the Drums does an excellent job. The considerable musical talent and instrumental versatility of these talented musicians adds an exciting dimension to the show.

Doug’s lovely wife Cheryl acts as the shows MC and does vocals. Her performance of “Through the Eyes of Love,” from the movie, “Ice Castles” was a beautifully done. Son Jordon and daughter Jasmine participate in the show on non school days. Josh and Jordon do a “bang up” job on a drum duet of “Wipeout” and ten year old Jasmine does cute number called, “You can Still have Fun on a Rainy Day” which she wrote herself. Mitch Kersey’s performance of “I’ll Be Home For Christmas” is another example of the musical talent and versatility of the band.

The second half of the show contains the Christmas Show. Oh it has the seasonal favorites such as “I’ll Be Home With Bells On,” “Jingle Bell Rock,” “The Most Wonderful Time of The Year,” “Blue Christmas,” “Chestnuts Roasting on an open Fire (The Christmas Song)” and otherws. It even has Santa Claus, a rocking Christmas, multimedia presentations including a cute video with Toney Orlando and Doug singing a duet of “Christmas with Tony” written by Doug.

One can feel the change in tempo and emphasis however, as Doug and Cheryl read the true Christmas story from God’s Holy Word and Doug, Mitch, Michael play an eloquently simple and beautiful acoustical performance of “What Child is This.” The true meaning and spirit of Christmas is wonderfully presented both musically and visually as the whole cast joins together for the “Hallelujah Chorus” and presents its finale “The Greatest Gift of All,” a song written by Doug. What a special way to end the show and say “Merry Christmas.”

About Gary Groman aka The Ole Seagull

Editor of The Branson Courier
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