|Randy Houser – by Jessica Blankenship|
Dim the lights. Turn up the smoke. Crank up the tunes. The sounds of AC/DC fill the air as the crowd gets riled up. In walks in the band and soon a tall dark haired southern boy with a country swagger steps up to the microphone. With a simple guitar chord progression, Randy Houser gets the crowd on its feet while singing “My Kind of Country.”
Randy Houser’s story to the stage has been one of success that others are taking notice. Raised in the heart of the Delta blues of Mississippi, he was born in small town of Lake, Mississippi. Hard work has paid off and it appears that 2011 could be one of bigger dreams for Houser. Nominated for the ACM Top Male Vocalist, he was able to showcase his talent on the Ryman Auditorium stage for those in the audience. He took a chance and showed what a true vocalist is by performing, “In God’s Time.”
“It’s a song that’s been on my heart for a while. It was something that I really needed to say and I felt like it was something people really need to hear. To make a long story short, I’ve been through a lot of changes in my life for the better. I went through a phase where I remember the reason why I get to do what I do and that’s what the song’s about.”
Hearing him sing both on record and live in person, he is very deserving of the nomination. In the fan voted category, Eric Church was chosen among the fans to move to the next round. By being nominated, Houser said, “It felt good. There are so many new artists that have come out lately. For it to be narrowed down to the top three and for the industry to recognize me as one of the top three solo male vocalists was a huge honor. I was very proud of it and I’m very proud of Eric [Church]. He’s one of my good buddies and now I’m trying to push my fans to go support him because he’s a buddy and that’s what you do.”
It was just a couple of years ago, he joined his pals Jamey Johnson, Jerrod Niemann, and Dallas Davidson on stage of the Ryman for the “Traler Park Revival.” (It was intentionally misspelled among the group as a sign maker misspelled it for their songwriting office in Nashville.) Little did anyone know, each of the performers would gain bigger success in their individual careers over the next couple of years.
“I think we’re all very ambitious and hard workers. I don’t know if we imagined that all the things would happen at the same time. We were hoping they would, but I think it’s part of the team effort we had. So it’s been amazing to see the things that have been happening.”
When asked if there was a possible chance of having another “Traler Park Show,” Houser said, “Not right now, but hopefully in the future. We’re all so busy running a thousand different directions.”
Not only has Randy been busy with his latest album, “They Call Me Cadillac,” he has been featured on two collaborative efforts. On the “The Music Inside: A Collaboration Dedicated to Waylon Jennings,” Houser performs “Ramblin’ Man” in a country bluesy vibe to it. On the Lynyrd Skynyrd tribute album, he performs a powerful vocal performance with “Simple Man.” When asked about future collaborative efforts, Houser noted that there was none in the works just yet, but he has one kind he would love to do. “I’ve always wanted to do a record of my own of my favorite bar band songs. Everybody’s always skeptical of playing those old bar band songs that everyone loves to hear. I think it would be a lot of fun to make an album full of those songs that everyone wants to hear but no one wants to play. That’s one thing I want to do.”
One of the ways he’s pushing that support is via Twitter and Facebook. By using the methods to reach out to fans, he has gained new supporters of his much. “I think I’ve had a deeper connection on using Twitter/Facebook since we started releasing little videos like “In God’s Time.” It’s trickling out there and I think I’ve seen and learned a lot about my fans and who they are more. You really get the depth of the person when they tell you the story of their life. That’s what’s happening with them,” according to Houser. Check out Randy’s Twitter and Facebook pages.
As far as re-releasing his current album to include “In God’s Time,” Houser is unsure if he plans to re-release it or something else. “I’m not for sure if we’re working on a new record right now or if I’m just going to put ‘In God’s Time’ and re-release the album. I think the album needs to be heard and it needs to get to the audience first. I want to reach the people that get it, that get the music.”
One person that would love the success that Randy Houser has had in his life would be his father. His father passed away when Randy turned 21. In turn, it inspired Randy to write “Lead Me Home.” The tune itself was released on Jamey Johnson’s “The Dollar” album and Randy included it on his latest release. The spiritual hymnal is a reflection of the last day on earth, hearing the angels singing him home to heaven. The tune itself could be one that would fit perfectly for anyone finding peace and comfort to overcome the loss of a loved one.
When asked what his father would think of his success, Houser noted, “I know whatever he would say, it would be funny. He was always a character. He would be very proud, very excited. It wouldn’t let anyone give me no crap I can tell you that. He was a tough customer, but everyone loved him. He would have had a great time hanging out.”
As the last note is played, the fans rise to their feet cheering in unison for an encore after a 2 hour packed setlist, Randy Houser and his band would emerge back onto stage to sing “Whistlin Dixie.” 2011 will definitely be the encore for Randy Houser’s career with his second album and new adventures on the horizon.
Check out more on Randy Houser by visiting www.randyhouser.com. Kentucky fans will get the chance to check him out during the Mid-America Trucking Show on April 1st. It is part of the Concerts 4 a Cause and will also feature Keith Anderson.
Jessica Bray is the owner and founder of Kentucky Country Music website. The Berea College graduate has been a music journalist and historian for over 20 years. She enjoys providing concert photography, reviews, historical articles, red carpet event coverage, and exclusive interviews of your favorite musicians. Jessica is proud to be a Kentucky Colonel and alumni of the FFA and 4-H Clubs. In 2018, she was named one of Laurel County’s Ten Under 40 Award Recipients. In 2019, she was a member of the Inaugural class of BRIGHT Kentucky as part of Leadership Kentucky. She has been featured on the Kentucky Music Preview podcast, Overtones radio show, WFKY Nashville News Roundup, KET, and more. Beyond music, she enjoys traveling, helping her community, collecting gnomes, and Volkswagens.