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Your Country’s Right Here: Randy Houser Changes His Tune

Randy Houser wants to set the record straight about a few things including his new bride Jessa Lee Yantz.

Although the two have been quite open about their personal lives, including sharing details about the September nuptials in the Dominican Republic, there’s one factual error that is consistently repeated much to Houser’s surprise.

“She doesn’t really write a lot of songs. I don’t know how that all got started,” said Houser with a laugh when asked if he was planning to co-write any songs with his bride who is constantly referred to in the media as a singer/songwriter. “She is a terrific singer. We haven’t made any plans to [write or perform together]. I tend to want to keep that separate. I don’t see that in the future.”

What he does see in the future, though, is a more mature sound, stronger tours and additional chances to work with a host of other performers. One of those many upcoming events will be the “Blake Shelton & Friends Cruise” to the Caribbean in October.  But there will most assuredly be plenty of chances to see Houser perform long before that including at charity events.

Although House recently signed with independent label Stoney Creek Records and is in the process of writing his debut album and planning an upcoming tour, he is takinga bit of time to slow down and savor different opportunities. Take his recent acoustic performance just before Thanksgiving at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Corporate Citizenship Awards at the Newseum in Washington, DC. Not only did Houser play about half a dozen songs, talk about his charitable work and bring awareness to companies that uphold social responsibility and meet-and-greet fans, but he took time for a bit of sightseeing, too.

“When CMT asked me, we just decided to do it,” he said. “My wife and I had wanted to go to DC and just go play and meet people and hang out and it was just a great thing to do. It was a ball!”

Although Houser generally performs in major venues, he said he welcomed the chance to just play his songs acoustically. And why not? After all, even though he’s performed since he was a child, he is incredibly well know for penning a host of songs for others including everyone from Trace Adkins (“Honky Tonk Badonkadonk”) to Justin Moore (“Back That Thing Up”).

“I am very comfortable just with my guitar,” he said. “I like bare songs, baring yourself out there. When I am playing like that, I get to drive the boat and get to do it all. I get to play whatever the crowd is looking for, and you can’t do that when you’re playing with a band.”

Now that the New Year is unfolding, keep an ear out for new Houser music in the not too distant future.

“It’s really early in the process,” he said. “I’m writing a bunch of new songs and have a lot of stuff down on paper, and am just [starting to record] a few things. I have got a couple of songs that I am pretty sure will be on there.”

Houser said that while the songs will certainly have the tone and feel of his past work, he said fans will hear a bit more “grown up” sound on this record.

“I’m not saying it’s just for adults, but I think it’s probably a little smarter,” he said of his work crediting much of his newfound inspiration to his wife who he calls his life’s greatest blessing. “There are things I don’t want to sing about and write about anymore. The other thing is, I want to be respectful of my wife. I don’t wants to record songs and have anyone think my old life style is still part of me.”

As much success as Houser found with his part work, including “Boots On” and “They Call Me Cadillac,” it seems as if his best songs are yet to come.

Find out more about Randy Houser, his music, and upcoming concert dates on his Web site.

Rising Outlaw Randy Houser Lets It All Hang Out On “They Call Me Cadillac”

Sometimes it pays to be an outlaw, especially if you’ve got the gutsy, greasy sound and tough, terse songcraft to back up the bad-ass image. On his second album, They Call Me Cadillac, Randy Houser shows he’s bona fide and then some.  By the time the smoke clears and the dust settles, the world at large might finally give the up-and-coming country star his proper due as the Willie Nelson to cohort Jamey Johnson’s Waylon Jennings. Lately, you can’t look anywhere, from CMT to The New York Times, without seeing Jamey Johnson’s hirsute mug, but Houser’s been his partner in crime for a long while. The pair came up together, playing sets full of George Jones and Johnny Paycheck tunes in rowdy bars before breaking through as songwriters—they co-penned Trace Adkins’ monster 2005 hit “Honky Tonk Badonkadonk”—and moving on to solo success.

Houser managed a Top 10 country single of his own straight of the gate with the raw, rockin’ “Boots On,” from his ’08 debut album, Anything Goes. But even though he was already showing off the kind of maverick, roughneck spirit that makes sane men climb on top of raging bulls and marry beauty-contest winners without signing a pre-nup, Houser hadn’t quite  reached his full potential yet.

There are no half-measures on Houser’s latest outing—They Call Me Cadillac. It marks his first recording for fellow country rebel Toby Keith’s label Show Dog, which was created expressly to give someone like Houser the opportunity to be his own butt-kicking self without holding anything back. “It’s the first time that I’ve had the most creative control to make the record I want to make,” Houser confesses. You can hear the rush of artistic freedom fueling his no-frills mix of outlaw country edge and classic honky-tonk heart throughout the album.

Houser tasted success from the fruits of his latest labors before Cadillac was even released when the redneck-pride Southern rock stomp “Whistlin’ Dixie” hit the country Top 40 back in February—the record’s first sneak-peek single. Now that the real, raw, uncensored Houser sound has been fully unleashed on the public, the burly, bearded man from Mississippi has been popping up on TV shows from Good Morning America to Jimmy Kimmel Live. Houser looks at his latest effort as “a more traditional country album…something that country folk like my friends and family in Lake, Mississippi—and lots of other places across the country—can relate to.”

He’ll be bringing his outlaw-as-he-wants-to-be sound all across the nation on tour with Gary Allan through late November. As his country-rocking Cadillac makes its way from state to state, he’ll be on a one-man mission to let fans from San Bernadino to Staten Island connect with their own inner rabble-rouser. Don’t be surprised if a pattern of barroom bust-ups happens to develop this fall along a route that seems oddly identical to Houser’s tour itinerary.

UPCOMING TOUR DATES

10/2 – Farmville, VA, Lankford Mall

10/7 – Toledo, OH, Huntington Center

10/8 – Erie, PA, Tullio Arena

10/9 – Detroit, MI, The Fillmore

10/17 – West Des Moines, IA, Val Air Ballroom

10/21 – Corpus Christi, TX, Concrete Street Amphitheatre

10/23 – Dallas, TX, Superpages.com Center

10/24 – Houston, TX, Sam Houston Raceway

10/26 – Laurel, MS, South Mississippi Fair

10/28 – Lincoln, NE, Pershing Center

10/29 – Popular Bluff, MO, Black River Coliseum

11/13 Bloomington, IN, Bluebird Nightclub

11/14 – Lake Elsinore, CA, Wagon Wheel Festival

11/18 – Atlanta, GA, Fox Theater

11/19 – Charlotte, NC, The Fillmore

11/20 – Myrtle Beach, House Of Blues

By Jim Allen

Jim Allen has contributed to a wide range of print and online outlets including RollingStone.com, MOJO, Village Voice, Uncut, VH1.com, iTunes, All Music Guide, CMT.com, The Advocate, Prefix, Blurt and many more.

 


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