Saturday, July 31, 2021
– Michael Ray will release "Higher Education," a seven-song EP on Aug. 27.
The release is the first since 2019's "Amos." The current single is "Whiskey And Rain."
"I'll never forget that time in my life when I was fresh out of high school, working a trade I expected to do all my life — splicing cable — and Amos, my grandfather, recognized how much I loved writing and singing country music," said the Eustis, Fla. native. "He said, 'you can either look back and say 'Damn, I wish I would have,' or 'Damn, I'm glad I did,' and the latter is a whole lot easier to live with.' With that, my band and I made the move to Music City. The next five years I leaned on the insanely talented writers, musicians and touring artists I knew, and the five plus after that I have leaned on this town. I am proud to know them the way I do, to have learned from them, and for them to know me."
"'Higher Education' is about going through life and the hard knocks that make you who you are...coming out of it stronger, having let it change you without hardening you. This album reminds me that even though we all go through hard times, we grow and we're better for it."
Among the hard times for Ray was his short-lived marriage to fellow-singer Carly Pearce. The two split after eight months last year.
The track list is:
1. Whiskey And Rain (Josh Thompson, Jesse Frasure)
2. Just The Way I Am (Michael Hardy, Ben West, Josh Miller)
3. Holy Water (Ashley Gorley, Hunter Phelps, Ben Johnson, Michael Hardy)
4. Picture (Michael Ray, David Garcia, Michael Hardy)
5. Higher Education featuring Kid Rock, Lee Brice, Billy Gibbons and Tim Montana (Tim Montana, Derek George, Jeremy Bussey, Monty Criswell, Frank Rogers)
6. Live Without You (Michael Hardy, Jessi Alexander, Corey Crowder)
7. Didn't Know I Was Country (Michael Ray, Taylor Phillips, Ashley Gorley)