Country Music Rising Star Frank Ray will open for Old Dominion in the Quad Cities in late January at Vibrant Arena

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Rising country star Frank Ray (Francisco Gomez) will open for Old Dominion on their No Bad Vibes Tour stop in the Quad Cities at Vibrant Arena.
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It’s not often that a ten-year veteran on the police force hangs his handcuffs up and picks up a guitar instead, but that is exactly what rising Latino country star Frank Ray did just four years ago. And with the success of his single, “Country’d Look Good on You”, entering the Billboard Country Top 40 list in 2021, he, along with Kassi Ashton and Greylan James will open for Old Dominion on their No Bad Vibes Tour, with the Quad Cities, Vibrant Arena being their third stop on Saturday, January 21.  

“I’m most excited about connecting with new fans,” said Ray.  “The Frank Ray brand is still very new and fresh, so my goal is to go out and show what we can do and hopefully gain some new fans and connect and make that impact with country music that we set out to do.”

It was almost a decade into his career as a police officer in New Mexico that he won a battle of the bands of sorts, the prize being an opening spot for Keith Urban.  With his band doubting the talent they had, Frank chose to go about this as a solo act and Frank Ray was born.  “Music has always been my life’s passion,” said Ray. “It’s what I’ve known I wanted to do with my life since I was a kid.  I left behind this really steady career so there was no way I could fail.  I needed to succeed for my family and go back to prove to everyone and myself that I set out to do this and we did just that.”

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When talking about being one of a handful of Latino artists in country music today, Ray, whose real name is Francisco Gomez, is very aware of his surroundings and embraces it wholeheartedly with a laugh always ready on deck.  “I’m really open and joke a lot about myself and self-deprecate a ton with myself and my band,” said Ray.  “We crack all the terrible jokes that people are thinking but probably never say.  You have to be able to laugh at yourself.  It cuts the tension for sure.” 

And with that attitude, Ray, is happy to be the face of Latinos in country music in hopes that it will help break some barriers down in the music industry that are still present today.  “I’ve always felt welcome,” said Ray. “Some people want to support me, but if they support me the other side will be like ‘you are only supporting me because I’m Mexican, you’re trying to look more diverse.’ On the other side, people don’t care about that and just like the music they do because I’m Mexican.  I’ve always been like, let the music speak for itself.  I don’t really care.”

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Not only is Ray winning over the ears of those that listen to his music, he has also got the attention from Congress in DC as Ray is bringing awareness to mental health for First Responders and he feels they are on track for something big in 2023.  “When you serve the community first, you often put yourself last,” explained Ray.  “So, I wanted to express that there are healthy ways to cope when helping your community and I struggled a lot with that. It’s still a work in progress.  We are working with congress in DC to build up some legislation and get some funding and also at the same time build up my career so I have a bigger platform for this so we can talk about this issue.”

A father of two daughters with a third on the way, Ray has found that balancing being a family man and a music man comes with his challenges, but he knows, in the end, it’s worth every mile that he travels.  “It’s such a paradox,” explained Ray. “To support my family, I have to leave them. Honestly, the respect all goes to my wife. It takes a strong individual to live this lifestyle.”

As his star continues to rise, Ray hopes to inspire those looking up to him, hoping that some step out of their comfort zone as he did and have success in whatever they choose.  “I come from a small town in Columbus, New Mexico, barely one thousand people,” said Ray. It’s so close to the Mexican border. I was dirt poor. I had the bare minimum, the Latino starter kit.  But having a dream and surrounding myself with the right people, I know our culture is full of people that are not shy of hard work.  Go out there and get it. Country music belongs to everybody.”

Don’t miss Fran Ray performing at the Vibrant Arena at the Mark on Saturday, January 21. He will be opening for Old Dominion on their No Bad Vibes Tour. For tickets visit vibrantarena.com

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