Michael Ray is gearing up for the release of his sophomore album, Amos, on June 1. The 11-track offering is named after her paternal grandfather, who inspired Michael’s musical passion and taught him how to play guitar.
“My grandfather passed away, three years ago,” Michael tells One Country. “He was an unbelievable guitar player, and taught all the cousins of that generation and my dad. So they created this band, and I came along and I was the first grandson. They had me on stage with them all the time. When I hit about nine I had my grandpa and my dad teach me some chords. I learned ‘Today I Started Loving You Again” from Merle Haggard, and kept on from that. From about nine years on, I was on the road with my grandfather and groups that he was playing with. That led me into wanting to play the bar scene, and figuring out how do you get from Lake County, Florida to Nashville.”
Michael eventually found his way to Music City, releasing his self-titled debut album in 2015. Scoring 2 No. 1 singles, “Kiss You in the Morning and “Think a Little Less,” the Florida native looks for realness in his music.
Amos, produced by Scott Hendricks, features Michael’s current single, “Get To You”. The song, about being in a relationship where your partner puts up walls, has the Florida native relating in a major way.
“I lived this exact thing in the middle of recording the song. I was going through a breakup after a few years of being with somebody,” Michael said. “It definitely made the song. When you’re singing it, you start feeling every word in it.
“I can personally tell you that I’ve been in that situation where something’s happened in somebody’s life and they kinda put that wall up, sometimes unknowingly. Instead of working through it, they see the signs and they back out. So it’s a song where you’re just telling the person you love, ‘Hey, I don’t know what it is but I’m just trying to get to you and figure this out, and whether it’s with me, hopefully it’s with me, at the end of it. Either way, I just want to see you shine and be the person you’re supposed to be.’”
Michael hasn’t only had experience with trying to break down the wall, but the singer admits he had a wall of his own to get through.
“My parents got divorced when I was a young age ,where you’re really impacted by that type of stuff. So I definitely have. I used to say sometimes that I had the iceman relationship where it was like, ‘Hey, everybody at arm’s length.’ So yeah, absolutely, I think everybody has in some ways. In my situation, I didn’t realize it until later on in life that I was doing it. Sometimes it just takes a reminder.”
After wrapping up his time on Old Dominion’s Happy Endings Tour, Michael is currently out on the third leg of his own headling Get To You Tour.
“We hit it hard, Michael reveals about his shows. “As soon as those lights go on and the intro track starts, it’s nonstop and we try to make a moment. I want to create that moment for the fans when they come in. Whether they’re there with people that they know, or they’re strangers, they all come together for one thing and that’s country music. I want to be able to take them out of whatever they’re going through.
Amos Track Listing (with songwriters):
1. “Fan Girl” (Matt Jenkins/Brad Tursi/Josh Osborne)
2. “One That Got Away” (Josh Osborne/Matthew Ramsey/Trevor Rose/Jesse Frasure)
3. “Summer Water” (Heather Morgan/Lee Thomas Miller)
4. “Get To You” (Abe Stoklasa/Pavel Dovgalyuk)
5. “Forget About It” (Luke Laird/Jaren Johnston)
6. “Her World Or Mine” (Brett Beavers/Jamie Paulin/Travis Denning)
7. “You’re On” (Chase McGill/Jessi Alexander/Matt Jenkins)
8. “I’m Gonna Miss You” (Corey Crowder/Matt McGinn)
9. “Dancing Forever” (Ross Copperman/Shane McAnally/Matt Ramsey/Trevor Rosen)
10. “Girl From Spring Break” (Ben Hayslip/Emily Weisbard/ Rhett Akins)
11. “Drink One For Me” (Josh Thompson/Jimmy Robbins/Jon Nite) ‘