By: Jessica Baird
Since his debut album Anything Goes was released in late 2008, Randy Houser has performed for one raucous, enraptured crowd after another. Currently putting the finishing touches on his follow-up effort They Call Me Cadillac, due this summer, and on the heels of an Academy of Country Music Award nomination for Video of the Year for his hit song “Boots On,” Houser credits authenticity as the key to his success.
“You can’t fake real,” said the 2009 CMA Best New Artist Nominee.
Born and raised in central Mississippi, Houser’s musical roots and inspirations encompass more than the list of outlaw artists (i.e. Waylon Jennings and Hank Williams, Jr.) typically associated with his blend of storytelling and boot-stomping beats.
Considering his powerful vocal delivery on his debut single, “Anything Goes,” Houser was asked to name performers that always manage to stop him in his tracks and have him turning up the volume.
Old Ray Charles records, Vern Gosdin’s “Chiseled in Stone,” and Willie Nelson’s “Red Headed Stranger” were a few Houser mentioned. “I’m a big Ryan Adams fan too. Give me some rootsy rock ‘n roll any day.”
His new single “Whistlin’ Dixie” certainly shows off his love of ‘rootsy rock’ as it thunderously pulses through your radio speakers. This rollicking gem is poised to become a honky tonk staple and crowd favorite.
When asked what fans can expect from his new album, Houser said, “It’s a side of me that’s more country.”
For an artist that has been heralded by fans and critics alike for bringing more traditional country back to the airwaves, an album that is ‘more country’ will undoubtedly be greeted with the same adulation.
Sharing the spotlight for the return of traditional country is Houser’s longtime friend, tour mate, and sometime co-writer, Jamey Johnson. The duo collaborated, along with Dallas Davidson, on Trace Adkins’s 2005 monster-hit single, “Honky-Tonk Badonkadonk.”
The pair headlined CMT on Tour in 2009; traveled to the Persian Gulf and entertained the troops alongside Kellie Pickler as part of the USO Tour; and headlined a sold-out, unforgettable evening at the historic Ryman Auditorium last spring.
“We always have a ball. I can’t think of anyone else I’d rather be out with,” Houser said. “When you’re away from home and missing your family, it’s good to have your buddy there with you. It’s like having a piece of home out on the road.”
Along with having a travel buddy and songwriting partner on tour, Houser loves playing to a diverse and devoted crowd night after night.
“We have everyone from little girls with their ‘boots on’ to biker guys. It is a mish-mash of people that come to our shows,” he said.
When asked about the near-tangible enthusiasm that permeated he and Johnson’s performance at the Ryman last year, Houser said, “We were fed by the crowd’s energy. What you felt just being in the audience, we felt a thousand times more on stage.”
Houser brings high energy to all elements of his career such as his enormously successful video for his single, “Boots On.” The lip-synching toddler in the video was already a YouTube hit, but when combined with Houser, the clip became a sensation and was featured on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, CNN, and the CBS Early Show, just to name a few.
“They always say not to compete with kids or puppies,” Houser said with a laugh.
Considering all that Houser has accomplished thus far in his young career, it is safe to say he will not have to worry about competing for the spotlight anytime soon.
For more information on Randy Houser, visit: http://www.randyhouser.com.