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Sunday, 30 November, 2008 5:23 PM

CMA New Artist Spotlight: Randy Houser

Photo by Kristin Barlowe

Universal South recording artist Randy Houser

By Bob Doerschuk
© 2008 CMA Close Up News Service

Raised by his mother in Lake, Miss., Randy Houser learned about taking responsibility long before he neared adulthood. He and his sister picked up other lessons during summer visits to their dad, including how important music can be in negotiating the hurdles of life.

From age 13 through his years of study - and playing honky-tonk gigs - at East Central Community College, Houser nurtured strong skills as a singer and songwriter. Inevitably, his ambitions led him to Nashville, where he scored by co-writing the Trace Adkins smash "Honky Tonk Badonkadonk" with Jamey Johnson. Signed to Universal Records South, Houser debuts with Anything Goes, produced by Mark Wright and Cliff Audretch III.

The title track, written by Brice Long and John Wayne Wiggins and the album's first single, makes one thing immediately clear: Houser knows how to convey the emotion of a song. Backed by churchy piano as the first verse begins, he interprets the lyric with unusual intensity and subtlety, so that by the time the chorus hits, the listener feels the full force of Houser's heartbreak and defiance.

And that's just the beginning. He captures the weariness of a long week's work as well as the promise of the weekend throughout "Boots On," projects his fury over a world that's lost its way on "Back to God" and ambles wryly through the humorous self-deprecation of "Lie." Every track on Anything Goes introduces Houser as a remarkably expressive artist. No doubt about it, he was born to perform.

IN HIS OWN WORDS

DREAM DUET PARTNER
"Elvis."

INFLUENCES
"My dad Randy Houser, Elvis, Conway Twitty, Hank Jr., Willie Nelson, Bonnie Raitt, Delbert McClinton and AC/DC."

FAVORITE MODE OF TRANSPORTATION
"Yacht . or the beaming thingy from 'Star Trek.'"

CD ON YOUR STEREO
"Hank Jr."

PHRASE YOU SAY OVER AND OVER
"What am I saying and why can't I shut up?"

FIRST GIG
"Taking out the trash for Mrs. Meadows. It sucked, but hey, it was 16 cents more than I had."

WHAT WOULD YOU TITLE YOUR AUTOBIOGRAPHY
"My Life: A short lesson in Good Times, Bad Choices."

ITEMS IN YOUR PERSONAL TIME CAPSULE
"Music by Robert Johnson and Jimmie Rodgers - at least rock 'n' roll and Country would be born again."

On the Web: www.randyhouser.com

 

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