One of the reasons I love my city is we have great radio stations. Today I had the privilege of seeing one of country music’s newest stars, Michael Ray, twice thanks to our two local Tulsa, OK stations.
The first stop was an intimate acoustic performance and dinner at a great little restaurant called Sushi Hana hosted by 106.1 The Twister. Here, a small group of radio station listeners feasted on an assortment of sushi and chatted with Ray before he serenaded us with songs from his self-titled, debut album, along with hits he helped write for other artists Big and Rich and Jerrod Niemann. Ray’s powerful voice boomed in that small room; there was definitely no need for a microphone. Over dinner we learned about his tattoos, his love for writing and singing ballads, and all about touring with Kip Moore. This was a fantastic way to get to know him, not to mention the food was incredible.
After dinner we headed over to the 5 o’Clock Somewhere Bar at River Spirit Casino where Ray performed a 35-minute acoustic set for about 50 K95.5FM listeners. In both places he was joined by drummer Andrew Beselica and guitar player Austin Moorhead. This particular event was billed as “Girls Night Out” so only women were invited to the show. Ray joked at the beginning that he has five sisters so a room full of girls didn’t bother him at all.
Ray played songs off his album including “Look Like This,” “This Love,” “Everything in Between,” “Drivin’ All Night,” and his current single “Real Men Love Jesus.” He also sang the Big and Rich hit “Run Away with You,” which he co-wrote, and everyone in the room joined in and sang with him. He asked for requests and dedicated “Another Girl” to a friend of mine, then, thanks to my request, he played my favorite song of his “Somewhere South.” He ended with a humble and grateful thank you to the fans and country radio for requesting and playing his first single and No. 1 “Kiss You in the Morning.” He even mentioned that K95.5FM has played it over 1,000 times – more times than he’s even played it and he’s been playing it for two years. Once the song started, anyone that was still sitting in their seats came up to the stage to dance and sing along to the fun, upbeat song.
I enjoy acoustic shows because it gives you a more intimate view of an artist and their music, and you get the chance to really hear them sing without all the extra production and overpowering instruments. Michael Ray’s deep voice was solid through both performances and even gave me chills at times. He sings with his heart and it is evident he loves what he does. Ray is wrapping up his current tour with Kip Moore and will join Brantley Gilbert and Canaan Smith on The Blackout Tour in 2016. He has passion, good looks, great songwriting ability, and most of all, a fantastic voice. All of these qualities put together have the potential to make Michael Ray a staple in country music for many years to come.
Tweet me @shanherrold and let me know your favorite Michael Ray song.
Follow Michael Ray on Twitter @Michaelraymusic