Michael Ray
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Michael Ray


Band Country Acoustic


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The best kept secret in music


"Jackson Independant"

...if his debut album continues to gain popularity he will go alot farther. ... - Jay Arrington


...I believe Michael Ray has a very bright future in the music business. ... - Skip Porter

"Nashville Music Guide"

The title cut on this CD by singer/songwriter Ray is dedicated to the disaster that befell New York City on September 11, 2001. The song is well crafted as are the other ten cuts on the album all penned by the artist. His rich voice compliments the lyrics and melodies of his tunes with lots of emotion and soul. - Brad Fischer


Michael Ray - Concrete and Steel
City Nights presents, An Evening With Michael Ray
Documentary- A Night and Life of Michael Ray


Feeling a bit camera shy


From the bayous of Louisiana comes a sound that is new, yet hauntingly familiar. Take the clean country twang of the Nashville artists of the 60's and 70's, add the drive and picked rhythms of the southern rock bands, throw in the honesty of the honky tonk singer, mix in a little rockabilly beat, a touch of the blues, and a song-writing style that is among the best and you have the recipe for a Michael Ray song.
Being raised in the small community of Weston, just outside of Jonesboro La., Michael Ray was brought up in a hard but simple fashion. In such rural areas children usually learn to sing about the same time they learn to talk. Everyone sings, plays, or has someone in his or her immediate family that does. As a boy growing up in the country Michael Ray was taught at an early age to sing and play, to fear God, show respect, work hard, and how to live off the land.While he was still in school, Michael Ray would sing for the first time in church and then go on to perform on weekend shows around the area such as the Louisiana Hayride. After landing the rhythm guitar seat in local rocker Jerry Tisdale’s band, Michael Ray was soon making the circuit of beer-joints and dancehalls scattered throughout the region. After finishing school he headed to Nashville where he would meet country star David Allen Coe who gave Michael Ray his first real job in the music industry. Michael Ray stayed with Coe for quite a while but eventually left to pursue his own career as a singer/songwriter.
While in Nashville he met country recording artist and Rockabilly Hall of Fame top guitarist, C. W. Gatlin who, according to Michael Ray, taught him more about playing guitar than anyone. After years of touring and honing his song-writing craft in Nashville, Michael Ray would move back to his home in Louisiana to get back to his roots. "I've always loved Louisiana and the people who live here." says Michael Ray. "Jonesboro will always be my home."
Michael Ray led the Cullen Baker band to regional success, and after it's break-up, founded the band Stars-N-Bars that would keep him working almost every night for the next few years. As the band evolved into a southern rock show, Michael Ray would leave once more in search of his country roots. It was becoming obvious to Michael Ray that if he was going to do things his own way that he would have to make it happen himself. Michael Ray worked as a surveyor and a pipe liner, concentrating all of his time and money into the creation of his debut album Concrete and Steel. A lot of blood, sweat, and tears went into this album,” explains Michael Ray. “I worked outside in the winter when it was -30 in North Dakota and in the summer when it was 110 in the south Texas shade to make the music my way for people to enjoy."
Thanks to the last minute addition of “Concrete and Steel,” a patriotic song written by Michael Ray on Sept 12, shortly after its release, the album began getting airplay in the wake of the Sept. II terrorist attack on our country. After a major layoff in the pipeline industry, Michael Ray was experiencing hard times again when the call came from Jimmie VanZant to help write songs for and to record his next album. After two weeks in the studio, Michael Ray was asked to join VanZant's Skynyrd band and go on tour.
Playing for so many people and travelling to so many places, Michael Ray found himself on stage with many of his childhood heroes. Michael Ray was performing his song “Concrete and Steel” every night as well as some of the other songs from the Concrete and Steel album and was pleasantly surprised at the response he was getting. "People were going wild every time we played “Concrete,” remembers Michael Ray.
“We were selling copies of Concrete and Steel all over the country and when fans found out the radio stations didn't have it, they began taking their own copies down and the stations started playing it " My fans have done so much for me " says Michael Ray. "They are as big a part of what's happening as I am."
With the fans distributing the album, the first shipment quickly sold out and Michael Ray began to feel as if he wasn't holding up his end of the bargain. " I had to get back to my fans and my music,” says Michael Ray, explaining why he left Van Zant’s tour. Returning to Louisiana, Michael Ray quickly reassembled his band and began playing and promoting his album.
The response to “Concrete and Steel” was so overwhelming that Michael Ray decided to change the name of the album, making it the title track. “The only reason I didn’t call the album Concrete and Steel in the first place was because I wrote the song after the album design was completed,” explains Michael Ray. “It’s a song written about the American Spirit and since I believe that there is healing power in music, I knew that this was a song that needed to be released right then. All the songs on the album are good ones, but “Concrete and Stee