When country music lovers talk about the greatest groups in the genre, Shenandoah is always at the forefront of any discussion. Fueled by Marty Raybon’s distinctive vocals and the band’s skilled musicianship, Shenandoah became well known for delivering such hits as “Two Dozen Roses”, “Church on Cumberland Road” and “Next to You, Next to Me” as well as such achingly beautiful classics as “I Want to be Loved Like That” and the Grammy-winning “Somewhere in the Vicinity of the Heart” duet with Alison Krauss.
Playing a pop-friendly brand of country-rock indebted to the Eagles, Restless Heart was one of the most popular country bands of the late ’80s and early ’90s, scoring numerous hits on the country charts and a few major successes on adult contemporary radio as well. The band first got together in 1984 at the behest of producer/songwriter Tim DuBois, who wanted some musicians to demo a batch of material that walked the line between country and pop. Drummer/vocalist John Dittrich, pianist Dave Innis, bassist/vocalist Paul Gregg, and guitarist Greg Jennings were initially joined by singer Verlon Thompson, and the demo sessions went so well that the group decided to stay together and pursue a record deal. They signed with RCA in 1983, at which point Thompson was replaced by lead singer Larry Stewart, a demo vocalist Innis knew from Belmont College in Nashville.