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Lead singer says latest album brings renewed energy to Shenandoah

It’s been a while since Marty Raybon has spent some time in Albuquerque.

Country band Shenandoah recently released the album “Reloaded,” which features five new tracks. (SOURCE: Absolute Publicity)

The first thing he wants to do is eat at Garduños.

“The first time I performed in Albuquerque, one of the radio DJs took me there,” he says in a recent phone interview. “It was the first time I had chile, and I instantly fell in love. I always promised myself if I ever made it back to Albuquerque, that’s where I’m going first.”

As luck would have it, Raybon will return to the Duke City for a show with country band Shenandoah on June 8 at Route 66 Casino Hotel.

The legendary country group released its latest album, “Reloaded,” in March.

The album contains five new tracks and live versions of hits such as “Moon Over Georgia,” “Next to You, Next to Me,” “Mama Knows,” “Two Dozen Roses” and “Sunday in the South.”

Being back with new material is a joy for Raybon, lead singer of the band.

After forming in 1984, Shenandoah racked up the hits, and by 1997, Raybon left the band.

“I was gone from the band for 17 years,” he says. “Really it wasn’t a question of coming back. I felt like we had a great deal to say. I needed that break. We were working like mercenaries with no time off. After a while, I got to the point that I was missing a lot of my boys’ lives. For 17 years out of the band, I was there for them and all of their experiences. I never stopped with music, and I did a few bluegrass and gospel albums. Coming back to Shenandoah, I just really felt like there was a whole lot more to say.”

Working on “Reloaded,” Raybon felt a renewed fire with the band.

There were plenty of songs to pick from, but the record label BMG told the band to record only five songs and revisit some live versions of its hits.

“Taking the list of new songs down to five was a difficult task,” he says. “We wanted to put our best foot forward. We were tickled when the album was released and it charted very well.”

Raybon is looking forward to creating more music and traveling around the world again.

“Never did I imagine that the band would still be going strong after 30 years,” he says. “There’s a plan for it all, and we’re along for the ride. I couldn’t ask for anything better.”

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