After seven solo albums, including two stellar bluegrass Gospel records, Marty Raybon has decided to get back together with band mates Mike McGuire, Stan Munsey and Chris Lucas to re-form Shenandoah. Ever since 1987 Shenandoah has released nine studio albums, of which two have been certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America.
The band has also charted twenty-six singles on the Billboard Hot Country Songs charts, including the Number One hits "The Church on Cumberland Road," "Sunday in the South" and "Two Dozen Roses" from 1989, "Next to You, Next to Me" from 1990, and "If Bubba Can Dance (I Can Too)" from 1994. The late 1994-early 1995 single "Somewhere in the Vicinity of the Heart," which featured guest vocals from Alison Krauss, won both artists a Grammy Award for Best Country Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal.
"We were not a band that broke up because of dissension," he insists. "We had our disagreements, as partners do in a business relationship, [but] we were then and remain to be friends. Returning to the band had actually been talked about on several different occasions throughout the years. I've always been truly proud of what we accomplished... the songs we recorded, the way they moved people. For years, all of us have heard what those tunes, those stories, meant to folks. We feel there is more to be said. So it's time to reload and fulfill the request of fans who want to see us back together."
"Having Marty back is like putting on an old baseball glove that fit your hand perfectly a long time ago," adds McGuire. "We're like brothers, so playing all our old hits together again feels natural. At the same time, we lost our bass player Ralph [Ezell] seven years ago to a heart attack and our keyboard player Stan [Thorn] has been gone for years, as well. So there will be new faces with us. But at the end of the day, having Marty's voice coming out of the speakers again will make it be Shenandoah all over again."
Shenandoah are now working on new music for a future album. Raybon says they're more concerned with great lyrics and melodies that transcend time than jumping on any sort of trendy country radio bandwagon. "If given opportunity, the songs we have recorded right now will fill a lot of voids," he hopes.
They'll likely test out some of those new tunes on the road, with tour dates that start October 24th in Enoch, Alberta, Canada.
Here are the Tour Dates:
October 24 - Enoch, Alberta, Canada
October 25 - Calgary, Alberta, Canada
November 1 - Oxford, Alabama
January 24, 2015 - Weirsdale, Florida
March 6, 2015 - Lancaster, Pennsylvania
March 7, 2015 - St. Mary's, Pennsylvania
April 4, 2015 - Mt. Vernon, Kentucky
May 16, 2015 - Sheffield, Alabama
November 13, 2015 - Wilkesboro, North Carolina (Merlefest)