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Date: July 17, 2019
Adams County Fairgrounds - 402-462-3247
On Opening Night of Fairfest 2019, Wednesday July 17th ~ Shenandoah takes the stage at 8:30 p.m.

When country music lovers talk about the greatest groups in the

genre, Shenandoah is always at the forefront of any discussion.

Fueled by Marty Raybon’s distinctive vocals and the band’s skilled

musicianship, Shenandoah became well known for delivering

such hits as “Two Dozen Roses”, “Church on Cumberland Road”

and“Next to You, Next to Me” as well as such achingly beautiful

classics as “I Want to be Loved Like That” and the Grammy

winning “Somewhere in the Vicinity of the Heart” duet with

Alison Krauss.

Today that legacy continues as original members Raybon and

Mike McGuire reunite to launch a new chapter in Shenandoah’s

storied career. It all began when the guys got back together to

perform a benefit concert for a friend battling cancer. “We saw

how folks reacted,” Raybon says of the response to their reunion.

“And then Jerry Phillips, son of legendary Sun Records producer

Sam Phillips, said ‘You guys need to make a run at this. People

still love what you do. You can tell by the reaction. There’s

a lot of excitement in the air.’”

“It’s kind of like riding a bicycle,” McGuire says of the band

reigniting that chemistry on stage. “We had done so many shows

over the years together, even though we spent 17 years apart, we

got back up on the stage and it was like we never stopped. We

knew those songs inside out. They were still dear to our hearts. It

was great to get back up there and do them together again.”

Raybon and McGuire formed the band in 1984 in Muscle Shoals,

Alabama with bassist Ralph Ezell, keyboardist Stan Thorn and

guitarist Jim Seales. McGuire invited noted producer Robert Byrne

out to see the band perform and he was so impressed he

recorded a demo on the group and pitched them to Columbia

Records. Shenandoah inked a deal with the legendary label and

began establishing a national fan base with their self-titled debut

in 1987. However, it was the band’s sophomore effort, The Road

Not Taken, that spawned their first top ten hits “She Doesn't Cry

Anymore” and “Mama Knows.” Shenandoah followed with three

consecutive No. 1 hits “Church on Cumberland Road,” “Sunday

in the South” and “Two Dozen Roses.” “The Church on

Cumberland Road” spent two weeks at the top of the chart and

made country music history as it marked the first time that a

country band's first No. 1 single spent more than one week at the

summit. It also helped propel sales of the album to more than half

a million units thus giving Shenandoah their first gold album.

Great songs have provided the foundation for Shenandoah’s

illustrious career. “We knew a hit song when we heard one,”

Raybon says. “We are songwriters and we wrote some of those

hits, but we really prided ourselves on having an ear for songs.

Mike, in particular, has always been a good song guy. When he

played us a song he found, we knew it was going to be special.”

Shenandoah became known for delivering songs that celebrated

the importance of faith and family while reveling in the joys of

small town life. “Next to You, Next to Me” topped the charts for

three weeks and “Somewhere in the Vicinity of the Heart,” a

beautiful duet with Alison Krauss, won a Country Music

Association Award for Vocal Event of the year and a Grammy for

Best Country Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal.

Shenandoah also won the Academy of Country Music’s Vocal

Group of the Year in 1991.

McGuire credits Raybon’s vocals for providing Shenandoah with

an identifiable sound. “When you hear Marty Raybon sing there’s

nobody that sounds like him,” McGuire says. “There’s nobody

that’s got the same chops that he’s got and he’s singing from his

heart. That’s one of the reasons that everybody wants to hear him

sing. Marty and me, e go way back. We’ve done a lot of things

together and we love each other like brothers.”

Shenandoah recorded nine studio albums and placed 26 singles

on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart. The boys from Muscle

Shoals have left a potent legacy at country radio with such

enduring hits as “Ghost in This House,” “I Want to Be Loved Like

That”, “Rock My Baby,” “Janie Baker’s Love Slave,”

“If Bubba Can Dance (I Can Too)”, written by Raybon

and McGuire and “Her Leavin's Been a Long Time Comin,” in

which former Dallas Cowboy quarterback Troy Aikman was in the

video (also written by McGuire).

“Today Shenandoah is in the top five recurrents on all the XM

radio shows,” Raybon says. “That’s amazing to know that you are

in the company of Alabama and George Strait. It’s hard to


Though they’ve secured their place in country music history,

Raybon and McGuire aren’t content to rest on their laurels and are

currently working on new Shenandoah music. “I’ve spent the last

15 years looking for hit songs,” McGuire says. “We have access to

really top drawer material, and have found some great songs that

we will be producing ourselves.”

Even as Shenandoah records new music and hits the road on their

upcoming tour, Raybon will still perform select solo dates. In the

years since he exited Shenandoah, he’s established himself as an

award-winning bluegrass artist, a natural home for his soulful

country voice. Though much has happened since Raybon and

Shenandoah parted ways, the bond has never been broken. It was

music that brought them together and music that continues to bind

them as they enter this next chapter. “We were fortunate enough

to have songs that seemed to touch a great deal of people and

while doing so it created a lot of memories,” says Raybon. “I truly

do believe that there are seasons in life and I believe that there is

time and a place when God allows things. We’ve sat down and

talked about reuniting before but it wasn’t the right time for it then,

but I do believe it is time for it now.”

McGuire agrees. “We are really proud of the quality of the

material that we have in our catalog and how it’s touched so many

people’s lives,” McGuire says. “As far as the future goes, I’m

expecting more of the same. We’re still the same guys. Marty still

has the same voice he had back in that day and I still have the

same harmonies that I sung on all those records. I expect the

records we cut in the future are still going to sound like

Shenandoah and the songs are going to be just as good if not


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