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As Seen In Country Weekly:
It's hard to believe the group Shenandoah celebrated
their 15th anniversary last year. "Holy Toledo! No wonder
my back hurts," jokes guitarist and co-founder Jim Seales.
"We're definitely alive and well."
Jim and the band—which now includes co-founding
drummer Mike McGuire, singer Curtis Wright and original bass
player Ralph Ezell—are still active.
Formed in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, in 1984 by Jim
and Mike, the band snagged a major record deal in 1986 on the
strength of their great harmonies and impeccable musicianship.
With original lead singer Marty Raybon, they enjoyed a string
of top tens in the late '80s, including the chart topping classics
"The Church On Cumberland Road", "Two Dozen Roses"
and "Next To You, Next To Me".
The rest of the '90s were also kind to Shenandoah.
"If Bubba Can Dance (I Can, Too)" hit number one,
and "Rock My Baby", "I Want To Be Loved Like
That" and "Darned if I Don't (Danged If I Do)"
reached the top five. They were named ACM Vocal Group of the
Year in 1991 and won a CMA award and a GRAMMY for their 1994
duet with Alison Krauss, "Somewhere In The Vicinity Of
The Heart". They walked away with a second GRAMMY for their
work on the gospel album "Amazing Grace".
In 1997, Marty left the band and was replaced
with singer Brent Lamb. After Brent's departure last year, the
group asked singer/songwriter Curtis Wright, formerly of the
Super Grit Cowboy Band, to take over as lead singer.
"Curtis wrote 'Next To You, Next To Me' and
'Rock My Baby' for Shenandoah," recalls Mike, "and
has been my favorite singer in town since I heard him singing
on a demo tape."
Today Jim and Mike still helm the good ship Shenandoah,
averaging 70 concerts a year. "We love to sit around the
bus with guitars and swap stories and songs," says Jim.
"We're just enjoying playing together and having fun.
"There's no pressure because we're not trying
to get a number one record and compete with everybody out there.
We just get up and do what we do best."
(Photo by Joe Hardwick)