MOUNT VERNON — Respect from your peers says a great deal about a person in any occupation, and nowhere is that more true than in the music industry. Vocalist Marty Raybon’s long career spans country music as well as the bluegrass and gospel genres, and he’ll bring his trademark sound to Memorial Theater Saturday, May 12.
Raybon and his backup band Full Circle will be the featured act in the concert, which is the 47th Annual Benefit Show for the College Township Fire Department. But just how good is the Alabama-born musician who was front man for the award-winning group Shenandoah from 1985 to 1997? Try asking his peers.
Lead vocalist Gary LeVox of Rascal Flatts makes it clear he’s a fan and pulls no punches when he calls Raybon “hands down, my favorite singer of all-time.” Jason Crabb, Gospel Music’s 2004 Male Vocalist of the Year, says Raybon has “one of the greatest voices ever, with a tear in his voice that will just melt you.” And country star Josh Turner says Raybon “gets inside a song and turns it inside out. He makes every word sound important and makes you feel he is singing straight to you. I love everything he’s done.”
Critics agree: “Raybon delivers the goods, coming from that place where bluegrass, country and pop all bump into each other,” writes Chris Spector of Midwest Record Reviews. ‘Southern Roots and Branches’ (one of Raybon’s two newly released albums) is the kind of record that feels like a welcome visit from an old friend.”
When Raybon signed his latest recording deal with Rural Rhythm Records, and began to plan a year-long tour in support of the country/bluegrass album “Southern Roots” and his new gospel offering titled “Hand to the Plow,” he had some reservations.