Michael Ray’s ‘Don’t Give A Truck’: Story Behind the Song [EXCLUSIVE]

Michael Ray‘s Dive Bars & Broken Hearts album is out. Ray co-wrote one of the tracks on the project, “Don’t Give a Truck,” a song that he penned with Rian Ball, Josh Phillips and Michael Tyler.

“I love writing songs, first off, but I also love the fact that I can lean on the songwriting communities, especially at the time when they’re not getting all the cuts and stuff that they used to,” Ray tells Everything Nash. “The songwriters. they’ve really taken a big hit in the last few years. So I love leaning on all those songwriters, and why wouldn’t you? And through those years of leaning on those songwriters, you put your team together of guys and girls that will help you write some songs.”

For “Don’t Give A Truck,” Ray was at a writing retreat in a house not far from where he currently lives in Georgia, with Ball, Phillips and Tyler, writing songs for Dive Bars & Broken Hearts, and future projects as well.

“We wrote five songs, songs that I loved,” Ray recalls. “And of course, the last day, when you’re hanging out, having some drinks and grilling out,  that’s when the song always ends up, and feels like it pops out. We are all from different places, but all cut from the same cloth, raised near the same place. And, so we were just talking about different things, and we were listening to ‘Mammas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys,’ and that song, the way it’s written, it’s so endearing to cowboys.

“It’s not this bash on cowboys,” he adds. “It’s actually just a warning to the mom, ‘Make sure you’re ready. Because the second he turns and he decides he’s a cowboy, everything changes. Just be prepared for that. He won’t be your boy anymore.'”

The sentiment of the song, Ray realized, was eerily similar to what people in his family would say about giving a boy a pick-up truck, and “Don’t Give A Truck” was born.

“They’d always be like, ‘Man, make sure that boy’s ready. Make sure you’re ready,'”  Ray says. “‘Cause when he gets the keys, especially your boy from the South. that’s your first taste in independence … He’s gonna change. He’s gonna push the envelope. He’s gonna go get it stuck. He’s gonna spend too much money lifting it all to impress girls, and drive through the mud. He’s gonna turn out great, but you’re gonna probably spend a lot of nights praying for him.’ And so, once we had that blueprint out, we knew where we wanted to go with the song.”

Ray is rightfully proud of all how the songs on Dive Bars & Broken Hearts came out, marking his first time working with producer Michael Knox, and his first time not trying to create anything but the sound that felt authentic to him.

“I think it is the first album where it’s 100 percent me,” Ray tells Everything Nash. “I didn’t chase anything. I wasn’t trying to do anything but really be very focused on songs that I wrote, and songs that I got sent that I loved. I knew what I wanted to say. I knew how I wanted the record to be; everything I already had in my mind. And so, because of that, I think that’s why people are gonna hear a difference sonically. They’re hearing a difference vocally. They’re hearing a difference in a lot of ways.”

Dive Bars & Broken Hearts and all of Ray’s upcoming shows can be found at MichaelRayMusic.com.

Photo Credit: Courtesy of EB Media / Spidey Smith