Country music fans will soon have the opportunity to see two popular bands — Shenandoah and Restless Heart — performing together at the Choctaw Casino’s Grand Theater on June 1.
Shenandoah is currently on its 30th anniversary tour, while Restless Heart celebrated its 35th anniversary last year. Shenandoah lead singer Marty Raybon, who rejoined the band he helped found in 2014, recently spoke with the Bryan County News to promote the upcoming show and let people know what kind of concert they can expect.
Shenandoah put out the live album “Reloaded,” featuring all the band’s greatest hits, last year with three new songs.
Q: You’ve already played a host of concerts this year, how have the shows been going? What kind of reactions have you been getting?
A: It’s been spectacular — it really has. It’s really kind of a cool thing to look out over a crowd and see some 18-, 19-, 20-, 21-year-old people singing your material and you realize they were not even born when those songs were released.
Q: Are the audiences enjoying your new material?
A: They really are. The biggest thing we’re hearing is “This new stuff sounds up-to-date.” That’s one of the things we wanted to make sure we did. If we had cut that stuff like we had recorded them in the late ’80s-early ’90s, then it would have sounded dated. But the great thing about having Jay DeMarcus (from Rascal Flatts) involved in it was he’s so sonically minded, that what he did and his contribution to it, he was able to bring it up to date.
Q: What was it like filming the video for “That’s Where I Grew Up,” the band’s first music video in 20 years?
A: I’ll be honest with you, I never cared much for doing videos. We all realized years ago, we weren’t going to win any Oscars. It was just a little strange to be doing a video again, like so many years ago. It’s kind of like everything else, you get back in the saddle of what you did and what you need to do. Of course, the whole time everybody around you is going “You look like an idiot.” But (directors) the Edde Brothers, they did a tremendous job on the video.
Q: You all played Denison’s Music on Main free concert series last year. Do you have any memories of playing in Denison?
A: It was hot! That was one thing. You know, Texas is one of those states that in the going-on 31 years that we’ve been out playing, I would say that the great state of Texas would be a third of the dates that we’ve done since we started. We’ve been coming to Texas for years and years and years.
Q: How is this show at the Choctaw Casino going to be different than last year’s outdoors show? Does being inside bring a different vibe?
A: We’ll definitely be doing the hits because that’s what everybody comes for. There’s always a little bit of a different thing that happens anytime you go inside as opposed to being outside. We love the big outdoor shows and we love the big indoor shows, too. With that as it is, what we’re going to try to do more than anything else is we’re going to try to entertain folks. For however long we get up there, if we can keep people enthusiastic about the show — hooping and hollering and singing along with the show — if we’ve done that for the 90 minutes to two hours, however long we play, then that’s what we actually came to town to do. And that way, people got a chance and an opportunity to be part of a show instead of sitting and witnessing one.
Q: You guys are known for putting on entertaining shows. What’s the secret to being able to do that night after night?
A: Relate to people, talk to them, carry on with them. I’m a consumer as well and I want everything in the world I’ve got coming to me. I don’t mind working for it, but I do want what I pay for and I still believe — honestly and truly — when people buy a ticket to come see you, they pay to be entertained.
Q: Is there anything else you’d like to add?
A: I just want people to come out and have fun with us. We’re going to come down there and we’re going to kick our heels up and we’re going to put a little Alabama stomp down there. And we’re just going to have ourselves a time.