Shenandoah still going the extra mile
Back in t he day, it wasn’t all that unusual for a singer or band to pile into a van or car and hit the road, stopping by radio stations and the occasional newspaper office to do a little guerilla marketing for their work.
Typically, it was the newcomers hoping to get their product and name in front of new audiences. Guys like Marty Raybon, artists who have a long and strong resume of work, rarely make such trips these days. But Raybon made such a trip last month, stopping by the paper for a visit.
Raybon is best-known as the l ead singer for Shenandoah, but he also had a big hit with “Butterfly Kisses” with his brother, Tim.
While here, Raybon shook hands and talked with everybody he encountered and seemed genuinely happy to be doing so. He was here to talk about Saturday night’s show, Aug. 25, at The Tivoli and how much fun he is having singing with the group again.
He sang lead for the group from 1987 to 1997, when he left to pursue a solo career, then returned in 2014. They launched their 30th anniversary tour last year and also recorded a new Christmas song, as well.
“I’m having so much fun,” he said.
“People keep telling us, ‘You guys sound like you never quit. You’ve picked up where you left off.”
Whether performing with Shenandoah or as a solo artist, Raybon says he has operated under a single philosophy ever since a particular show with the band many years ago. A couple approached the band after the show during a meet-and-greet and told them they had foregone paying their light bill to be able to attend the show.
“We started talking about that on the bus,” Raybon said. “We talked about it for quite awhile. It really stuck with us. When someone comes to see you, it’s not always a convenience. They are making a commitment.
“It has to be about the fans, and we don’t have any idea what is going on in their lives.”
Raybon s ays s i nce rejoining the group, he is enjoying performing and touring because of the old and new fans he meets. Shenandoah audiences are filled with people who have listened since the beginning and new ones.
“Young people will come up and say, ‘We had your tape in the car and listened to it on the way to school or soccer.’ That’s pretty cool.”
Shenandoah stops in Chattanooga Saturday night at the Tivoli Theatre.