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All this month we’ll be checking in with your favorite country artists out on the road as part of the “It’s Time For Straight Talk” series. In this next installment we talk with the Eli Young Band, Cam and Michael Ray on how they connect with their fans plus the importance of staying in touch with their loved ones while out on tour.

The Eli Young Band has been on the road for most of their career. In their 17-years together, they’ve seen the changes in how fans enjoy their live show. Young says, “It’s just a new age of how people absorb shows.  The phones are up in in the air for almost the entire show. You have to appreciate that there’s this moment they can capture and hold forever.” It’s also that very same technology that allows him and the band to keep in touch with their loved ones, “Being away from home is the hardest part of what we do, but now with Facetime and being able to stay connected it’s such a blessing, it makes what we do so much easier.”

Singer/songwriter Cam is opening up about being a woman in country music. “Women are super underrepresented right now in country music and they don’t hear their own stories. I think, also, by virtue of being a woman it was really advantageous for me because I was finally telling a story that they could hear themselves in.”  The “Burning House,” singer admits, “Having people sing the words of your song back to you, knowing they feel how you felt when you wrote it, that’s a big accomplishment. It’s a feeling of connection and I don’t know where else you can find something that intense.” And while she maintains her connection with her fans as she’s out on the road, the newlywed also makes sure she’s in touch with her husband each day as well, “Good morning text is important, goodnight text is important, phone call where you hear each other during the day and actually ask each other real questions is important.”

To country singer Michael Ray, his fans mean as much as family to him.  In a recent example of this, Ray helped a fan get to his concert, “I communicate with my fans the same way I communicate with my family…I Ubered a fan here today.  I was on Twitter and they were like, ‘I can’t come because I don’t have a car at my camp, I wish I could come,’ so it’s as easy as messaging them going, ‘Hey, where you at, I’ll send an Uber to come get you.”  He adds, “That’s the cool part of where we’re at in this world now communication is so easy now, you can get a hold of anyone at anytime.”

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