Michael Ray Releases 7 New Tracks On His Latest EP 'Higher Education'

By Kelly Fisher

August 27, 2021

Michael Ray In Concert - Louisville, KY
Photo: Getty Images

Michael Ray just released his new EP Higher Education, and the 7-track collection is an anthem to “coming out of (hard times) stronger.”

Higher Education is Ray’s latest batch of new music following Amos in 2019. Fans will already recognize “Just The Way I Am” — and its corresponding music video — and Ray’s current single from the EP, “Whiskey and Rain.” The Florida native also gave fans a taste of the project earlier this summer with “Picture,” which is “perhaps his most personal song to date,” following his uncle’s passing, according to a press release announcing his new EP. Over the years, Ray went from booking his own shows in Florida to making music in Music City, crediting a word of advice from his grandfather for spurring the career-changing move to Nashville.

“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,” Ray said in the release. “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+ 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.”

Higher Education released on Friday (August 27). Check out the track list here:

  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” feat. 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)
Advertise With Us

For You

    Music, radio and podcasts, all free. Listen online or download the iHeart App.


    © 2023 iHeartMedia, Inc.