Rising country music artist performs at Chico State


Rising country music artist, Frank Ray, performed at Chico State Feb. 1. The set included their original song “Every Time You Run.” Photo credit: Hannah Yeager

The second concert hosted by Associated Student Productions lit up the Bell Memorial Union with up-and-coming country artist, Frank Ray.

Ray falls in the contemporary pop-country genre and dazzled the crowd with some of his original songs like “Every Time You Run,” which hit number 15 on the Texas top songs list, while also throwing in some well-known country classics and pop cover songs like “Uptown Funk” by Bruno Mars.

AS Production’s newest student programs and events coordinator, Hugh Hammond, is trying to bring back concerts on campus.

On Jan. 31 in the BMU basement, a local hip-hop artist, Scout, kicked off the AS Production’s concert season. Followed by Ray’s concert Feb. 1. The semester seems to be off to a good start with a decent turn out at both events.

“We are starting with small, local and emerging artists,” Hammond said. “Not going too big yet.”

The overall goal is to get to a point where the BMU auditorium can be used to host “big name” concerts like Chico State once did in the past. Being seen as a school that could be possible venue is important in order to attract those artists, according to Hammond.

Ray traveled from Texas to perform at Chico State and was able to deliver an upbeat concert with students dancing in the crowd, enjoying both his covers and original songs.

He was interviewed by Rolling Stone magazine for an article entitled “10 New Country Artists You Need to Know: December 2017.” In just a few months Ray climbed the country charts in Texas, working his way into the Top 20 of Texas Regional Radio Report which is a list with the some of the most popular “Red Dirt” titles, according to Rolling Stone.

All of Ray’s songs can be found on Spotify.

AS Productions has been looking for more artists to come perform on campus. According to Hammond, they are looking to help artists who may need that “step up.”

They also have been renting lighting from an outside company for an amped-up venue, which was obvious at Ray’s concert.

This is the kind of thing that students enjoy. They usually have to leave campus, driving hours to see “big name” performers and go downtown for the locals.

Thanks to the efforts made by Hammond and his team, students won’t have to go far to experience music in the way that only concerts provide.

Hannah Yeager can be reached at [email protected] or @Hannah_K_Yeager on Twitter.