When Mike McGuire and guitarist Jim Seales started a band in the clubs of Muscles Shoals, Alabama in 1984 they never dreamed their dedication to great music would lead them down such a long and illustrious road. By late 1985 they had added bassist Ralph Ezell, keyboardist Stan Thorn, and a struggling bluegrass singer named Marty Rayborn to the mix and were confident they had the winning combination they’d been looking for. The Grammy award winning group Shenandoah was then born. Within their first two years on CBS Reords, the band scored 5 number one records including” Churchon Cumberland Road”, “Sunday in the South”, and “Next to You Next to Me”.
But after a lengthy legal battle over the name ” Shenandoah” they moved to RCA Records. In no time at all they hit again with 4 more number ones including “If Bubba Can Dance” and the heartfelt “I Want to Be Loved Like That”. In 1996 the band was lured by music legend Jimmy Bowen to Capital Records and it was during this period that Shenandoahs live shows took on an exciting new demension and the band produced more chart toppers like “Jane Bakers Love Slave”, and the Grammy Award Winner ” Somewhere In The Vicinty of the Heart”. Some acts would have played it safe after establishing themselves as a successful country “Supergroup” and winning a CMA Award, TNN and ACM group of the year accolades, and the much coveted Grammy, but not these guys. With thirteen number one songs, countless chart hits, Gold albums, and a reputation as one of the hardest touring acts in the business, this is still evolving, takingchances, and striving for the musical perfection and performance that have made them radio and concert favorites around the the world. Shenandoah was again hungry for new musical ground when singer Marty Raybon announced he was leaving the band at the end of 1997. Seales and McGuire immediately called an old friend who had played a vital role throughout Shenandoah’s career, a friend they had wanted to work with for years. Curtis Wright had penned several songs for the band including the #1 hits, “Rock My Baby” and radio favorite ”Next to You Next to Me”. Not to mention Clay Walker’s first record first #1 record “What’s It’s To You”, Darryl Singletary’s ” Too Much Fun” and Ronnie Milsap’s “A Women In Love”.
The guys had long admired Wright’s vocal talents with the recording duo Orrall and Wright and his recording work as background vocalist from Tim McGraw, Tracey Lawrence, Clay Walker, Pat Green and countless other country acts. Most recently you can hear Curtis on Reba McEntires album “Room To Breathe”. Yes that’s Curtis singing background vocals on ” I’m Gonna Climb That Mountain”, “He Get’s That from Me” and “Somebody”. Man, we have wanted to work with Curtis for years says McGuire. ” Not only is he my favorite country singer but I’ve always loved his writing. That boy can write hit songs! “I feel like I am home ” says native Pennsylvanian Wright. ” I’ve been on the road with some great bands and entertained country fans around the world. I’ve watched my songs climb the charts to number one and worked in the studio with some of the biggest acts in country music.” Its been exciting and I’ve certainly enjoyed it. But i got to tell you, there’s a special chemistry with the new Shenandoah that I’ve never felt before.” With a smile he adds “you know you do something and is just feels right, REALLY right. Well, this is definitely one of those things. This band is smoking and we’re writing hit songs and ready to hit the road to give country music fans something to shout about!” There’s a new buzz on music row in Nashville these days and the buzz is “SHENANDOAH IS BACK AND BETTER THAN EVER!”