Shenandoah plans to get country fans hootin’ and hollerin’ at its Vilar concert on Thursday
Shenandoah is bringing their ‘80s and ‘90s old hits along with newer songs to the Vilar Performing Arts Center, and they want everyone to have a good time. Concert goers, when they attend a Shenandoah show, can expect a good time as the band encourages audience participation. Sometimes, they go over their allotted time for the show to honor audience requests and make sure everyone hears their favorites.
“If we’ve got everybody involved in the show, and for 90 minutes we’ve held their attention, and for 90 minutes they were screamin’ and hollerin’ and hootin’ and hollerin’,” said Marty Raybon, guitarist and vocalist of the band. “If we can do that, then we’ve allowed them to be a part of the show instead of just sitting and witnessing one.”
The band, which originally formed in 1984 in Muscle Shoals, Ala., will play at the Vilar on July 11 at 8 p.m. Thursday’s show will mark the band’s first date in Vail over the course of their 30-year history playing together. Aside from the Vail date, the band has a whole summer of shows lined up in the Rockies as well as the Midwest, the South and the Pacific Northwest as part of their 30th Anniversary Tour.
“In the heart all of it was us still loving what we love, still doing what we’ve been doing for going on 31 years now, we just felt like it was time to be able to expand and give folks what they were asking for,” Raybon said.
Last year, the band released their first new music since 1996’s “Now and Then.” The 2018 record, “Reloaded,” features nine live versions of Shenandoah’s biggest hits, plus three new tracks they cut with Jay DeMarcus, the bassist of Rascal Flatts. Two remaning songs from that session will appear on Shenandoah’s upcoming new release, due to drop in January 2020.
When the band decided that they wanted their first new record to be a live record, they approached their label, but the label said that live albums weren’t doing well right now and they should record new music instead. Some time passed, and somewhere along the way, things changed and the band was able to put out live recordings, something they’d been wanting to do for a long time.
“Everything that people said we were not going to do, we did. The mathematical probability of everything happening the way that it did and the way that it came about… it’s one of those kind of things where you’d like to think or believe, ‘wow, can it really happen like that?’ But it did,” Raybon said.
A large part of Shenandoah’s history is colored by changes in personnel in the ‘90s. Raybon left the band in 1997 and pursued other projects. Over the years, he said, the band had talked about getting back together several times, but the timing didn’t feel right until April 2014, when Raybon rejoined. When they got together that day in April, they started calling up booking agents, publicity folks and other people that would help get the band back up and running again.
“Before the afternoon was over, we had all those little blank spaces filled up. That’s really what made us feel pretty good about what we were doing,” Raybon said.
Tickets for the show are still available and cost $45 or $65 for priority seating. They can be purchased online at http://www.vilarpac.org, over the phone at 970-845-8497 or day-of at the box office outside the venue.
The Denver-based group channels gypsy jazz vibes from greats like Django Reinhart.