Michael Ray is celebrating the release of his upcoming Higher Education EP with a hometown show. The 33-year-old announced on social media that he will take the stage at Nashville Palace for on August 31, performing his weekly Honky Tonk Tuesday show live in Music City.
“Let’s goooo!!! See #honkytonktuesday live at the [Nashville Palace] to celebrate the release of my #highereducation EP. First come, first served so mark your calendars for 8/31.”
Let's goooo!!! See #honkytonktuesday live at the @nashvillepalace to celebrate the release of my #highereducation EP. First come, first served so mark your calendars for 8/31 🥃💯 RSVP here if you're coming https://t.co/8a9IFau7PT pic.twitter.com/fJ9sJlJsAh
— Michael Ray (@Michaelraymusic) August 17, 2021
Ray started Honky Tonk Tuesday during the pandemic, chatting with many of his own musical heroes for the series, including Dean Carter, Clint Black, Steve Wariner, Terri Clark and more.
“I was in need of that at escape,” Ray told Everything Nash last year. “You know, we’re not getting it either. We’re not playing shows. We’re not getting that live concert feel. So I thought, ‘What can I do to bring an hour of that or so a week to fans?’ and came up with this idea. And honestly, I didn’t know what it was going to be, or what we were going to do. It was just a bunch of friends. I think I had Marty Raybon on the first one, with Mark Wills, and then it started growing.”
Ray wrote two of the songs on Higher Education, but all seven of the tracks represent, perhaps for the first time, who he authentically is, both as an artist and a person.
“It’s no longer hard for me to be vulnerable,” the Florida native told Everything Nash. “I’ll be honest, I think it was a confidence issue. I didn’t know what I wanted to say in some things, or how to do it. Do I say that? … And now I guess my confidence is there and I really don’t care. I just want to be open. I also know that God’s given me a platform to reach out and to tell my story in ways that are connecting with people, and I think hopefully giving a voice to some that maybe don’t feel like they do.”
One of Ray’s favorite songs on Higher Education is “Just the Way I Am,” written by Michael Hardy, Ben West and Josh Miller, but very, very true to his own life.
“This song really feels autobiographical for me,” Ray says. “It touches on the good parts of people while still acknowledging that they have faults and flaws, myself included. I relate to it so fully, that it feels like I could have written it. I hope that when fans hear it, they understand more about me and maybe even relate to it themselves.”
Pre-order Higher Education at MichaelRayMusic.com.