Randy Houser Won’t Stay Out of Trouble, But Will Be ‘Livin’ the Dream,’ on the Road With Willie Nelson
In 2002, Randy Houser made the decision to move from his home state of Mississippi to Nashville, Tenn., in hopes of establishing a songwriting career for himself. With true talent, hard work and a little luck, Houser did just that -- and he has penned songs for the likes of Trace Adkins, Justin Moore and more. With hit singles like 'Anything Goes' and 'Boots On' and several award show nominations, he is making his mark in country music.
Taste of Country recently caught up with the Houser in Indianapolis at the 8 Seconds Saloon, where he discussed his recent ACM Award nomination, his new single, getting into trouble on the road with Willie Nelson and making Waylon Jennings proud. As a bonus, he even gave us an exclusive tour of "livin' the dream" backstage at his shows.
Well first of all, congratulations on your ACM Nomination for Top New Solo Vocalist!
Well, thank you so much. That was really cool to be up for that award. It's been a really exciting time and it’s also been a really good chance for me to engage fans, especially via the Internet and all the digital marketing stuff. It's been really cool, and we've built a new fan base in a lot of ways ... I think it helped make a lot of people aware of our music that weren’t before.
You had some stiff competition in the category: Eric Church, who won, and Easton Corbin.
I'm really proud of Eric. Eric's worked really, really hard for a long time. And I’ve always respected Eric and his music. He's a true artist, and when it comes down to it, that’s the people we want to see win these things. Congratulations to him. And I definitely want to ask that all the people who supported me for the award, to now turn over and support him for the award because he is one of my buddies and I want to see him win New Artist of the Year. We got to make that happen.
Have you decided what you’re going to break out to strut the orange carpet at the ACMs?
You know, I don't even know if I'm going to do that. I don't know if I'll do the carpet this year or not. I think we've got a lot to do, and we won't even actually be at the award show because we’ll be playing next door. I don’t know how exactly it’s going to work. But if I do do the orange carpet, I always hate it when people ask you what are you wearing ... I’m like, "My damn suit! What are you wearing [laughs]?" It's like, we don’t care anything about all that.
When you get back from Vegas, you’ll be jumping on the Country Throwdown Tour with Willie Nelson. Was it a childhood dream of yours to be on tour with him?
It is. Definitely. Absolutely. I mean, my family’s always been huge Willie Nelson fans. So that kind of falls in generations -- I’m sure my kids, if I ever have any, will be the same because I love Willie so much. He's an icon and it's one of those things you always wish would happen, but is truly something that a lot of people won't ever get to do, go on tour with Willie. So, a bunch of my buddies are going out there and we jokingly say -- because it’s me, Lee Brice and Jamey [Johnson] and a bunch of other folks -- someone asked me the other day, because Jamey, Lee and I kind of came up together in Nashville ... I was talking about being on Willie's tour, and I was like, "Willie just ought be glad we let him be on our tour [laughs]!" No, we love him and [I'm] really excited about joining him. It’ll be a good time.
With all you country boys together, are you going to be able to stay out of trouble out there?
Well, I mean, no [laughs]. We don’t aim to, either. We’re having the time of our lives, and we’re going to enjoy it.
Watch Randy Houser's Exclusive Backstage Tour
In addition to the tour, you have a new single out called 'In God's Time,' which has made an impact on a lot of fans. What stage in your life were you when you wrote this song?
You know, I think it was kind of strange. It was kind of like I thought my career and my music and all that would be the thing that made me happy, even from [when I was] a kid growing up. And then you come in and you get all those things and you realize that’s not, you know, what makes you truly happy. I guess I had to break it down and realize that, you know, God's the one that gave me the gift to do what I get to do. That’s the thing that I had to remember.
The song's really not about just religion -- it's more about realizing what you have to be thankful for. And I think that I had gone through a patch where I was kind of down about things, just really wasn't in a happy place. I had all these things around me and everybody telling me that I was supposed to be happy but I wasn’t. Nobody was preaching to me or anything like that -- it was kind of like God was talking to me. I had to realize the reasons why I get to do what I get to do. It never has been about being a star. It’s all about the thing I love the most -- getting to do what I love for a living, and finding a real reason to be thankful for that.
Another song that you’ve cut that has got a lot of buzz is a Waylon Jennings song, 'I'm a Ramblin Man,' which you did for 'The Waylon Project.' Waylon’s wife, Jessi Colter, had some really nice things to say about your version of it.
Yeah, that was really neat. I did a completely different version than Waylon's. I've played it for years in clubs, through the years growing up playing, but I really wanted to do something different. You know, the biggest thing about Waylon Jennings was he was all about an artist being a true artist in doing things, and interpreting a lyric the way you feel like you should. And I felt like I could get the point across of the song for me better as the way I did it. It was kind of more of a blues thing, but he really wanted an artist to feel music they way they do and create music the way they wanted to. And I felt the way that I could bring the most honor was to do that. So I did it my way, and that's what he would have done. I was kind of worried about it, but I think he'd be proud.
Since you’re out on the road, what are three items you can’t leave without?
My Harley-Davidson, got to have that. I mean, I got to have my boots. And I’d probably have a little shot of Jack Daniel's, I gotta have that. Well, don’t have to, but I like to have [laughs]. And my pillow.
Watch Our Full Interview With Randy Houser