January 22, 2017
Everything in Between
So, as promised, the follow-up review of the amazing Michael Ray Think A Little Less concert I attended last night at Prospector’s Grille and Saloon in Mt. Laurel, NJ. I like to refer to this venue as my own little slice of Nashville, since going to concerts like this make me feel like I’m in the capitol of country music, even if I live in New Jersey. The show last night was a great start to the 2017 concert year for me surrounded by my fellow country music lovers.
Michael Ray is originally from Eustis, Florida and released his debut album, which he made sure to play a piece of every single song from during the concert last night. Talk about an amazing performance, and that voice! I don’t even think I can truly capture just how phenomenal his voice sounded live. This type of venue does not allow an artist to hide behind a crazy sound system, and often gives us concertgoers a feel for the more raw and original sound of their voice. Michael Ray has a silky smooth bass and range that just made the crowd go crazy. His band is equally amazing and he rocked out with them throughout the show. They had an incredible amount of energy on the stage and brought that party vibe on out to the crowd as well. He has an amazing team that backs him up on stage including his drummer Andrew Beselica (who I think looks like he’s related to Michael), lead guitarist Lucas Chamberlain, and Kurt Ozan on guitar! These guys all played seamlessly together throughout their set list.
So Michael Ray was AWESOME and managed to play every song from his debut album for all of us in the audience. That’s not always something an artist is able to pull off, and while he didn’t play full-length versions of every song, he did a pretty good job of getting us all to hear how great this album really is…and if you don’t have it you should go buy it right now. Throughout the concert, Michael also gave his thanks and recognition to all those country greats who made a way for country as a genre, and also remarked about how they all had a role in helping him develop his career and path as an artist. We got to hear covers of Sam Hunt, Darius Rucker (although for one song it was technically Hootie and the Blowfish), Randy Travis, and some love for Brantley Gilbert. It was a great mix-up to his music and gave us a chance to see a little more of how Michael Ray has become the artist he is today. I also have to give Michael Ray some big props for giving a shout out to the men and women who serve this country, and for encouraging everyone to remember it’s more than just one day a year that we should appreciate those who protect our country. He really made this concert seem very personal to everyone out in the audience and connected with the fans.
Quick fan-girl moment: Michael Ray co-wrote the song “Run Away With You” with Big and Rich, which I actually saw B & R perform this summer. Michael, you totally killed that song last night and it’s one that can make a girl go weak at the knees. Also, “Real Men Love Jesus” is one of my other top songs that you sing. So beautiful, and the way he sings this song is breath-taking. Sigh…
Michael Ray also brought along Levi Hummon for this tour as his opening act. Levi Hummon is a new recording artist out of Nashville with Big Machine Label Group and some of his label mates include country artists such as Brett Young, FGL, and Justin Moore, so he’s definitely in good company. I’m calling it now, this guy is one to watch. Rolling Stone has already called him one of the Country Artists You Need to Know and they are right on the money with this one. He has an EP album out right now which includings two of my favorites “Love You Hate You Miss You” and “Chain Reaction”. I got to hear both of these live last night, along with several other new songs of his to be debuted. He managed to get in a ton of great music in a 35 minute set supported by his awesome bandmates John Hollier, Charlie Berry, and Peter Wilson. Staying true to country artists, his voice sounded even better live and his country boy charm will definitely make an impression with the ladies. This guy has all the southern charm, the voice, and the guitar. It’s easy to see why he’s one to watch in the country music world. I did get a chance to meet Levi last night and take some fun photos. He’s one of the most down-to-earth artists I have met, and while this may sound cliché, there’s been a few artists I’ve met who don’t put off the fun, genuine vibe. So shout out to Levi for being so great with the fans!
Levi’s Set List
Don’t Waste The Night
Make Up My Mind
Make It Love
One of the things I appreciated the most out of this concert was the complete fan-love these two artists both had at the concert. Levi Hummon did a meet and greet at his merch table, which a lot of artists do, but I’ve also seen a lot of artists unable to do this for various reasons. It’s a great way to connect with the fans and make a lasting impression on those who support your music. Both guys were amazing and even stayed after the concert for over an hour to sign autographs and take pictures (so I actually got two pics with Levi!). I’ve been to several concerts at this venue and I have yet to have an artist decide to stay until everyone was finished doing a photo/autograph session. These guys are so genuine and remind me what country music is all about. Thanks for giving a kick-ass show last night and for coming up this way to your Jersey country fans! It was definitely an unforgettable night!
Love and All Things Country
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P.S. Michael Ray is also making his rounds around the area this week and will be performing on the Today Show this Tuesday! Be sure to check it out and if you’re there, don’t forget to tag and post pics for all the Michael Ray fans out there!
As always, if you love these artists, please support their music and purchase their albums on iTunes or wherever else their album is sold.