“It’s the music that really matters to us, and it’s always been the music that’s made the difference,” says Shenandoah drummer and co-founder Mike McGuire. When McGuire and guitarist Jim Seales started a band in Muscle Shoals, Alabama in 1984, they never dreamed their dedication to great music would lead them down such a long and illustrious road.

Utilizing their success as studio musicians and songwriters, Seales and McGuire teamed up with world famous producer Rick Hall and writer/producer Robert Byrne to record seven songs with the band hoping to get a record deal in Nashville. It didn’t take long; Columbia was the first label to hear the innovative music and signed the band on the spot, sending them back to the studio to finish their first album. The rest, as they say, is history.

The band scored five number one records including “Church On Cumberland Road”, “Sunday In the South”, and “Next To You, Next To Me”, then moved from Columbia to RCA records in 1993 and hit again with four more number ones including “If Bubba Can Dance (I Can, Too)” and “I Want to Be Loved Like That.” There were some band member changes along the way but the core members were never afraid of change and always embraced a challenge. Signing with Capitol records in the mid ‘90s Shenandoah’s new personnel kicked their live shows into an exciting new dimension and the band produced more chart toppers like ”Janie Baker’s Love Slave”, and the Grammy winner “Somewhere In the Vicinity of the Heart”.

In early 1999, McGuire and co-writer Curtis Wright got together in the studio to write some new songs. As if governed by a larger hand, these “demo” sessions began to take the shape of an album of music, the kind of music that sounded like Shenandoah. Long time Shenandoah keyboardist Stan Munsey recalls, “I knew when the tracks were going down that we had something great; I really felt that this was the kind of album Shenandoah had been wanting to make for years.”

Some acts would have played it safe after establishing themselves as a successful country “supergroup”, winning a CMA award, TNN and ACM group of the year accolades, and the much coveted GRAMMY, but not these guys. With 13 number one songs, countless chart hits, gold albums, and a reputation as one of the hardest working touring acts in the business, this group is still evolving, taking chances, and striving for the musical perfection and performance that have made them radio and concert favorites around the world.

 

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