Note: The following story was written by Sue Guynn. You can read up on all the local country music happenings on her blog, Three Chords And The Truth, here. She recently had the opportunity to speak with country music up-and-comer Randy Houser, who will be performing over in Charles Town, West Virginia, on Saturday. Below is her story.
Randy Houser is living his dream: Making a living doing what he loves most — making music.
The country singer-songwriter is riding high with his most recent album for Stoney Creek Records, “How Country Feels.” The album, released in 2013, has produced four singles: the title track, “Runnin’ Outta Moonlight” and “Goodnight Kiss,” each charting at No. 1, and the current single, “Like a Cowboy,” now in the country Top 5 on both Billboard and Mediabase charts.
Added to that, Houser is set to join soon Luke Bryan for remaining dates on his “That’s My Kind of Night Tour” as well as what will surely be one of the hottest tickets this summer, Bryan’s “Kick The Dust Tour,” which kicks off in May.
But local country fans can catch Randy Houser in concert Saturday at The Event Center Hollywood Casino in Charles Town, West Virginia. The Event Center opened in July and seats 1,200. Because it’s off the casino, patrons must be 21 or older to attend.
We caught up with Houser before he hit the stage in Harris, Michigan, for his first show of 2015.
“It’s about as cold a place as I’ve ever been,” Houser said in a phone interview from Harris last Friday.
The Lake, Mississippi, native made the move to Nashville in 2002. “My dream was to make a living doing something I love, making music,” said Houser, having played “a good 10 years in bars and house bands in Mississippi and writing songs I decided to go to Nashville and see where it takes me. And it’s been a fantastic journey!” he said.
The second single from his debut album, “Boots On,” reached the Top 5 on Billboard and Mediabase charts and spent two weeks at No. 1 on MusicRow charts, and Country Aircheck named him their No. 1 most-played new artist of 2009. He has had numerous major award nominations from the Academy of Country Music, the Country Music Association and CMT. Even with all that success, Houser said, “I still don’t feel like I’ve made it. I’m one of those people that’s aware that it could all end some day, maybe tomorrow. So I continue to work hard, appreciate what I have and be thankful for where I am.
“Probably the biggest thing (that made him feel like he was living his dream) was when I got my first publishing deal and my first cut as a songwriter,” Houser said.
That first song cut by another artist: “Honky Tonk Badonkadonk,” recorded by Trace Adkins, and co-written by Nashville heavy-hitters Jamey Johnson and Dallas Davidson. It peaked at No. 2 in 2006.
“That was a big one,” Houser said. “Goodnight Kiss” was his first No. 1 as a songwriter; “How Country Feels” was his first No. 1 as a singer.
“I feel so blessed to have the success we have off the (“How Country Feels”) album,” he said. “I do know it’s freakin’ awesome!”
His current single, “Like a Cowboy,” was co-written with longtime friend Brice Long.
“It’s one of my favorite songs,” he said, noting it was written about four years ago. “I really wanted to write a song about what I do, travel all the time,” he said. It’s like the cowboys of old and the haulers of today, it’s about going home and packing up and leaving again, and trying to keep things together at home, he explained.
“I know firsthand how tough that can be,” said Houser, who recently split with his wife. The couple have a 2-year-old son, West. “Being a father definitely changes you as a person. You don’t know how much love you have inside. I didn’t know how much love I had in me until I saw that little boy.”
Houser said his fourth studio album is in the works and the project is about half completed. No release date yet for the album, but look for the first single to drop around the end of March. “I don’t know which song it will be,” he said. “If I knew I would tell you.”
You might hear it at his Charles Town show on Saturday. “Everybody come to the show and you will hear some new songs on the album,” Houser said.