Michael Ray is living up to the sentiment of his new song “Picture” with the announcement of his forthcoming summer tour. Just the Way I Am Tour will kick off June 13 with a show at Caroline Music Fest in support of Luke Combs and continue throughout the fall months with other support stops alongside Sam Hunt, Chris Young, Ashley McBryde, and others.
“I can’t wait to be back out on the road and be with all of you again,” Ray says in a press statement. “There’s nothing better than being with one another and singing the songs that have brought us together over the years, and I’m so excited to share some new songs with you that have come to mean so much to me. Let’s make some memories.”
Earlier this summer, Ray shared the inspiration behind “Picture,” written as a tribute to his late Uncle Terry with co-writers Hardy and David Garcia. “You know, pictures are like songs. You hear a song or see a picture, and it puts you right back in that moment. You can hear the people laughing,” Ray said. “You can smell the perfume. You can see your grandma in the kitchen. With these types of songs, this isn’t the first time the subject has been talked about. We had to do it creatively, and we knew we had something special.”
With last year’s lockdown, the country singer-songwriter also had plenty of time for self-reflection. “In a lot of ways, I realized that I was lost and putting effort and importance on things that were probably not important. Being able to be back home and hang with family and friends and actually be there, and not just in and out like we’ve had to be the last five or six years, it was a soul cleanser,” he remarked. “It sounds weird, but I reintroduced myself to myself in a way. Especially in what we do, it’s so fast paced, and you can’t put someone else’s story and compare it to your own. God made one of you, and you have a story. Don’t compare yourself or be down on yourself when God gave you this journey, and it’s yours. Own it.”
“Picture” and “Whiskey and Rain” sample a forthcoming, yet-untitled, new studio record.
Check out the tour dates below.
June 13 – Caroline Music Fest – Myrtle Beach, S.C. (support to Luke Combs)
June 14 – Wind Jammer – Isle of Palms, S.C.
June 18 – Dr. Pepper Park – Roanoke, Va.
June 19 – Country Fest – North Lawrence, Ohio (support to Sam Hunt and Russell Dickerson
June 26 – Smokin’ Summer Jam – Birmingham, Ala.
July 10 – Red River Valley Fair – Fargo, N.D. (support to Chris Young)
July 17 – Timberwood Amphitheater – Hot Springs, Ark.
July 23 – Power Plant Live – Baltimore, Md.
July 24 – Pinehaven Country Club – Guilderland, N.Y.
July 25 – Hampton Beach Casino Ballroom – Hampton Beach, N.H.
July 31 – Cam-Plex Heritage Center – Gillette, Wyo.
Aug. 6 – Antelope County Fair – Neligh, Neb.
Aug. 21 – Brown County Fair – Aberdeen, S.D. (support to Nelly)
Aug. 22 – Central State Fair – Rapid City, S.D. (support to Kip Moore)
Aug. 25 – The Pageant – St. Louis. Mo.
Sept. 3 – Ozark Amphitheater – Camdenton, Mo. (support to Brantley Gilbert)
Sept. 4 – Touchdowns & Tunes – Paducah, Ky. (support to Brantley Gilbert and Ashley McBryde)
Sept. 10 – Washington State Fair – Puyallup, Wash.
Sept. 18 – Swine N Dine – Paxton, Ill.
Sept. 23 – Island Hopper Songwriters Festival – Ft. Myers, Fla.
Nov. 14 – Tortuga Music Festival – Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. (support to Jon Pardi)