For Dave Bray, it’s all about creating music with a mission. Playing in front of big crowds is great – he’s opened for Aerosmith and Trace Adkins to name a few – but at the end of the day, he wants to do more than entertain. He wants to make a difference.
Performing as Dave Bray USA, he hopes to do just that during the Pink Arrow football game tonight, September 8, in Lowell. Dave will be singing during the Survivor and Honor Walk as well as performing the National Anthem prior to kick-off for the Pink Arrow X game with East Grand Rapids.
Lowell’s First Look caught up with Dave and his wife, Becky, on the eve of his performance.
Patriotic Music Honoring Law Enforcement, Veterans
Hailing from a small town in Pennsylvania, Dave has been playing music since he was a boy. “The true start was with my mom who was a folk singer,” he says, crediting her influence.
Later, he would sing in the choir and play in high school garage bands until he joined the Navy. Following a four year stint in the Armed Forces, he met up with his old high school buddies to rekindle their band. The group moved to California, but success was elusive. While that group fizzled out, Dave toured with another band for a few years before striking out on his own as Dave Bray USA.
The father of two has spent much of his career focused on honoring veterans and law enforcement personnel. He has developed rock versions of classics such as God Bless America as well as original songs like Last Call, which speaks to the ultimate sacrifice made by police officers in the line of duty.
“Dave can play a bar any night of the week,” his wife Becky says. However, Dave doesn’t want to spend a career playing generic rock anthems. He’d rather be performing songs that have a deeper meaning and for an audience that appreciates that meaning.
“You’re not just entertaining,” Dave says. “You’re doing something more.” That mission to tap into something more meaningful is part of what helped bring Dave Bray USA to Lowell.
Dave Bray USA Comes to Lowell
Dave and Becky Bray have been together for more than 20 years. They married on Veteran’s Day and have two boys, ages 7 and 9. While Dave does the singing, Becky is behind the scenes scheduling performances and sending out merchandise.
“We make a really good team in the music industry which is a rare thing,” Dave says.
The couple arrived in Lowell on Thursday and were joined by friends Bill and Cathy Kohler who recently lost their 10-year old son to cancer. That loss, as well as the unexpected death of a 16-year old nephew, provide a somber backdrop to their visit.
Once in Lowell, the couple stopped by Main Street BBQ before heading up to the high school to check out the sound equipment. When asked about first impressions, Dave was quick to mention the downtown antique shops. “He is such a picker,” Becky says. “Dave loves antique shops.”
Beyond that, the Brays say they are impressed with the sense of community here. “We’ve lost too many Lowells in our country,” Dave says.
While other areas may be losing their tight-knit, small town atmosphere, it’s alive and well in Lowell. Nowhere is that more evident than in the Pink Arrow Pride event which is now in its tenth year.
Gates open at 2:30pm, and Dave Bray USA will take the stage for the Survivor and Honor Walk at 6pm. Your Pink Arrow X t-shirt serves as your ticket.
To learn more about Dave Bray USA, visit his website or Facebook page. Merchandise will be available for sale after the performance, and you can buy Dave Bray USA singles on iTunes, Amazon (note: Amazon links are affiliate links) and from other digital music retailers.