Frank Ray is a former police officer, Texas chart-topper, and bilingual recording artist opening doors for a modern Latino Country movement. Growing up both enriched in his Mexican culture, three miles from the border in New Mexico and surrounded by country music in Texas, Frank was immersed in the best of both worlds and has been harmonizing the two since. His latest self-penned single, Streetlights is a rhythmic and romantic, sexy smooth cross between Country and Latin music. It’s our Song of the Day too!
To get to know Frank a little better, we asked him to tell us about an album that has changed his life.
The album that really had an impact on my influence in country music probably comes as a surprise to most people. Whereas most artists who grew up in the heyday of 90’s country music would cite George Strait or Garth Brooks, I lean heavily on Tracy Lawrence. When I first heard the I See It Now album, I immediately fell in love with the vulnerable and reflective aspects of being a man and in my opinion, nobody did it better than Tracy. I knew then that I identified more with that of a hopeless romantic than a fast driving, blue collar cowboy. I learned early on (as the saying goes) women love a man who can get in touch with his sensitive side. This album did just that. With songs like Texas Tornado and As Any Fool Can See, I got a real understanding that love inspires great lyrics even if they sometimes come at your detriment.
Now, its not to say that the toned-down time signatures were the only appeal on this album. But even songs like Guilt Trip and Hillbilly with a Heartache with faster tempos and rockin’ feel still maintained themes of heartbreak. I was drawn to that. Even as a boy, I understood what Tracy was singing about. A lesson that doesn’t generally come until later on in life. The song I Got a Feelin’ is a great play on the hook as it repeats each time but with a variation of perspective which is something I do similar in one of my songs titled Noticin‘.
From heavy piano ballads to up-tempo grooves, the deep-rooted themes of love, this album is a direct influence on my songwriting and my artistry. Tracy Lawrence and his album I See It Now changed my life and could change yours too.