After 17 long years, Marty Raybon is returning as the lead singer of Shenandoah!

Raybon co-founded the group in 1984 with bass player Ralph Ezell, drummer Mike McGuire, guitar player Jim Seales and keyboard player Stan Thorn, before leaving in 1997. After Raybon left, the group split up, but then Seales and McGuire got the band back together with new members in 2000. Ezell even came back to the group after and stayed until his death in 2007.

"We were not a band that broke up because of dissension. We had our disagreements, as partners do in a business relationship, [but] we were then and remain to be friends," Raybon tells Rolling Stone Country. "Returning to the band had actually been talked about on several different occasions throughout the years."

The current band consists of McGuire, Stan Munsey and Chris Lucas, and they're thrilled with Raybon's return.

"Having Marty back is like putting on an old baseball glove that fit your hand perfectly a long time ago,” McGuire shares. "We’re like brothers, so playing all our old hits together again feels natural … [T]here will be new faces with us. But at the end of the day, having Marty’s voice coming out of the speakers again will make it be Shenandoah all over again."

Raybon’s first live show with Shenandoah will be Oct. 24 in Enoch, Alberta. He wants to balance new with old, but do things even better this time around.

The group has done a lot since they formed. They put 26 singles on the Billboard Hot Country Charts from the mid-'80s to the mid-'90s. During that time, they had five No. 1 hits and won the ACM Award for Vocal Group of the Year in 1991.

"I’ve always been truly proud of what we accomplished … the songs we recorded, the way they moved people," Raybon says. "For years, all of us have heard what those tunes, those stories, meant to folks. We feel there is more to be said."

Adds the country star, "So it’s time to reload and fulfill the request of fans who want to see us back together."

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