Hempstead Hall was buzzing with excitement last night as the Grammy-winning band Shenandoah, featuring Marty Raybon, captivated fans with an impressive show. The group charmed the audience by performing favorites such as “Next to You, Next to Me” and “Two Dozen Roses” while also giving the crowd a sneak peek of new material from their latest compilation album with songs like “I’d Take Another One of Those” which was recorded with the Zac Brown Band.
In an exclusive interview with SWARK.Today, lead singer and original band member, Marty Raybon, shared the group’s passion for performing at venues in smaller cities like Hope. “This is the heart of America,” Raybon said. “These places are the honest-to-God heartlands where real people live.” Raybon went on to say that one of the elements which has sustained them with the public over time was their first ten years as a band spent touring the country and playing at small country fairs. Raybon said, “We got a chance to meet people, a chance to meet America. Whenever you stretch a bond like that with people in this business, it never goes away; it’s always there.”
That bond was evident as fans danced in the aisles, waved arms in the air, and sang along to hit after hit. Even the new songs garnered a strong reaction from the audience proving that Shenandoah can still deliver an enjoyable presentation filled with those distinguished vocals and the musical dexterity for which they are known. Raybon said their newest album, Every Road, is the first in 26 years and quickly went from a studio album to a compilation project as more artists wanted to get involved. Every Road contains duets with artists such as Blake Shelton, Dierks Bentley, Luke Bryan, the Zac Brown Band, plus many more. Raybon said the band was thrilled to get to share these newest songs with their fans. “We enjoy the opportunity to give the audience something new and fresh,” Raybon said. “After a while people get tired of those greatest-hits records so we like to give them the chance to hear something different and exciting.” The new Every Road album can be found on iTunes and Spotify.
Last night’s concert was presented by Miracle Farms Market. Proprietor Jack Daniels said he couldn’t have wished for a better turnout. “I was blown away by the band’s performance,” Daniels said. “The music was great and the band has some of the kindest and most down-to-earth artists I have ever met.” Daniels actually began planning this event a few years ago, but the date was rescheduled three times because of pandemic-related issues. Daniels was delighted to finally see this vision come to life and said it was made possible with the help of the following sponsors: South Ark Cattle Company, Pafford EMS, Heather Doucet State Farm, Brazzel Oakcrest and Cornish Funeral Homes, Burke & Walker, Hempstead County Abstract & Title, Mustard Seed Wealth Management, Main Street Cleaners, Yocom Body Shop, Inked Threads, Katie Daniels, Farm Credit of Western Arkansas, Montgomery Law Firm, B&R Building Supply, First National Bank of Tom Bean, Secure Storage.
Daniels wasn’t the only one with praise for Shenandoah’s performance. As the show came to a close and fans began to clear out, some could be heard exclaiming, “That was amazing!” and “That’s the best show I’ve ever seen!” It soon became clear the band members of Shenandoah accomplished their goal of generating an invigorating, musical experience for real people in the heartlands of America. It’s certainly one show the locals in attendance at Hempstead Hall last night will not soon forget.