Country acts headline fair Saturday

Published 3:49 am Wednesday, July 17, 2019

While visitors to the Washington Parish Free Fair will have a Sunday afternoon of entertainment at the main stage, the final night of the fair, Saturday, Oct. 20, will feature Parish County Line at 6:30 p.m. and Michael Ray at 8:30 p.m.

Parish County Line is a country music band based in Baton Rouge. They formed in 2012 when Derek Shipley of Centreville, Miss., met Travis Hood of Denham Springs, and decided they wanted to bring 90s country music back to south Louisiana.

It wasn’t but a few days later they formed Parish County Line. Shortly after forming they were joined by Ross Pilcher (St. Francisville) on lead guitar and in 2015 they added Trent Ciaccio (Baton Rouge) on drums. At the end of 2017 they added Zach Stephens (Watson) on steel guitar to really complete the “True Country” sound they had always been looking for.

The group has since taken the Baton Rouge music scene by storm, including winning DIG Magazine’s “Greatest Local Band” two consecutive years.

Michael Ray is a native of Eustis, Fla. He was inspired by his grandfather Amos “Wilson” Roach, who played music for him and taught him how to play guitar, in addition to having him perform at assisted living centers. Ray chose to form a band in southern Florida after graduating high school, and a disc jockey at WPCV began playing his music. He independently released an album in 2010, which was discovered by manager Tony Conway.

Ray was mentored by John Rich of Big & Rich on the singing competition “The Next: Fame Is at Your Doorstep,” which he won. He and Rich co-wrote Big & Rich’s 2015 single, “Run Away with You.” After winning the competition, Ray was signed to Warner Bros. Records Nashville.

The label released his debut single “Kiss You in the Morning,” which went to No. 1 on the Country Airplay charts in 2015. The album accounted for two more singles in “Real Men Love Jesus” and “Think a Little Less.”

Ray’s second album, Amos, came out in 2018. The album has accounted for two singles: “Get to You” and “One That Got Away.” Scott Hendricks produced both of Ray’s albums.