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38 Special Blows ’Em Away 

Guitarist/vocalist Don Barnes fronts 38 Special, playing The Paramount on Jan. 17.

One show and you’ll know… they got it right when they named 38 Special.

The Southern rock band, performing for more than three decades, blows audiences away, and at each and every show, audience members are amazed by the explosive power of the band’s performance.

The current tour brings them to The Paramount on Jan. 17.

To diehard fans – and there are many – Huntington is a long-overdue stop on 38 Special’s 100-cities-a-year tour. To those who don’t know them… trust us, you do. Their 30 years together have produced sales in excess of 20 million, and several gold and platinum album awards. Some of them are pretty recognizable, even to non-Southern rockers. “Hold On Loosely,” for instance, and “Rockin’ Into the Night” have received plenty of radio play and are longtime favorites of the band’s arena show audiences. Others – “Caught Up in You,” “Fantasy Girl,” “Back Where You Belong” and “Chain Lightnin” are among many other hits that remain a staple on the radio.

Since 1976, the band has released more than 15 albums. They’ve toured relentlessly, bringing their signature brand of “muscle and melody” to fans worldwide.

For 38 Special, it’s all about the show, said guitarist/vocalist Don Barnes.

“We never wanted to be one of those bands that had maybe gotten a little soft or complacent over the years. We’re a team, and it’s always been kind of an unspoken rule that we don’t slack up, we stack up,” he said.

Completing the team are guitarist/vocalist Danny Chauncey, bassist Larry ‘L.J.’ Junstrom, drummer Gary Moffatt and keyboardist/vocalist Bobby Capps. On stage, they are a precision unit bringing dedication and honesty to a long history of classic songs, as well as fresh new material.

Barnes adds, “This music keeps our wheels on the road. We’re a band that’s tried to stay honest with what has driven us over the years. We started out with nothing but bold determination to make our own history and to endure. Looking back now, it has been our greatest pride to have persevered and attained that level of success and longevity.”

Around the fall of 2009, the notion of releasing a new live album took root. The band felt that their in-concert offering many years before had lacked in sound quality not yet available in the technologically-advanced decade since. Additionally, they felt a need to showcase that a new spirit of 38 Special was growing: a band that had matured into a tighter unit after three decades on the road, with an innate ability to read each other on the stage.

Barnes explains, “We had been rushed to release something quickly without having the luxury of choosing between different performances. It was a single show in the ’90s that had been recorded at a venue where logistics were a real challenge, the weather wasn’t cooperating, and we ended up not entirely satisfied with what we got.”

He continues, “For ‘Live From Texas,’ we were able to carry our digital recording equipment with us to several cities, and now had our own private studio for remixing. So this was going to be a real pleasure to put together. The crowds were massive and all of those classic songs deserved a chance to shine in an enhanced live fashion. We were finally able to deliver what we represent onstage.”

The result represents the proud history of a band that has made the road a part of its heritage.

“And the magic’s still there,” Barnes added.  “When those lights go down and we all walk up those steps to the stage and hear that crowd roar, it’s a real rush to the head. It feels like we’re getting ready to strap ourselves in and it just takes off from there.”

So buckle your seat belts and “hold on loosely.” 38 Special plays The Paramount on Jan. 17, 8 p.m. Tickets are $39.50, $65 and $75 at the box office, 370 New York Ave., Huntington village, or go to paramountny.com.

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