New track is available on forthcoming EP
Michael Ray has always been one to let his music do the talking, but that doesn’t mean the Florida-born, honky tonk-raised musician doesn’t know how to have fun digging into his own life. Given the anticipation for his Dive Bars & Broken Hearts EP, Ray decided a second taste was in order to flesh out the kind of country he’s committed to making.
“Workin’ On It” works a breezy shuffle that tackles the notion of not being perfect, but knowing – to invoke Billy Joe Shaver – even an old chunk of coal can be a diamond someday. With his melt into the groove vocalese, Ray delivers the song as a man in full, who sees every moment as an opportunity to grow, while also recognizing things many people throw away often have real value if you’re willing to invest some time and energy.
“If there’s a song on this EP that’s me, it’s probably ‘Workin’ On It’,” Ray admits with a laugh. “It’s the idea that old cars need pieces, there’s always a project to do, but maybe the biggest project of all is… me. And that’s great. Knowing you’re always gonna try to be better, but, you know, also finding the fun in that. Isn’t that what life is all about?”
Produced by Michael Knox, known for his CMA Album of the Year Award-winning work with Jason Aldean, as well as Montgomery Gentry and Trace Adkins, Dive Bars & Broken Hearts dials in the dark-haired traditionalist’s bar-honed brand of play-it-right-or-die country. Knowing the breadth of what hardcore jukeboxes hold, Ray wants to give people a full spectrum sense of where his sound and music are heading.
Director Spidey Smith, who helmed the intense “Get Her Back” clip, also returns for a moments-in-the-day look at Ray as he moves through his life. Working on cars, clearing land, chopping wood, stringing lights, all small things that make up a good life – and create the kind of man people love and respect.
“Life isn’t hard or some big mystery,” Ray admits. “Even though hard things happen, you can choose to sink into those times or lift yourself up, find the good and make some happy for other people. That’s how I was raised, and that was something I wanted to throw out there. We get to pick how we act and what we do. That’s what ‘Workin’ On It’ and this video are all about.”
The photographer/director who’s worked with a litany of today’s most intriguing artists – including Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, Good Charlotte, Cypress Hill, Eminem and Duran Duran – delivers a sunny clip that culminates with friends coming together for an evening of music, laughter, a fire and just being. “Simple stuff,” Ray says. “But sometimes the best times are the ones where it’s just you, your friends and nothing much going on beyond being together.”
In addition to dropping a second track, Ray returns to the Grand Ole Opry Saturday, May 13th to celebrate his new music. As part of the Opry’s prestigious Circle Television livestream and longstanding WSM-AM broadcast, Ray will play “Get Her Back” and “Workin’ On It” for the first time nationally and internationally.