James House

James House

As an artist, James House placed nine records on the Billboard country charts between 1989 and 1996, with the biggest being 1995’s "This Is Me Missing You," which hit No. 6 in 1995 – almost two decades ago. Since that time, he has also found success as a songwriter with hits from Dwight Yoakam ("Ain’t That Lonely Yet"), Diamond Rio ("In A Week Or Two") and Martina McBride ("A Broken Wing"), so hit songs and House go hand in hand. Still, the performer tells Billboard that he received a note in the fall of 2013 that threw him for a little bit of a loop.

"Back in November, I got an email from a fan who said ‘This Is Me Missing You’ is number one on the UK dance charts," he said with a hint of disbelief in his voice. "My first thought was that somebody covered it. I emailed back and asked who cut it, and they said ‘Nobody. It was our track.’ I investigated, and indeed it was number one." The success of the song made him think about the possibility of a new record – something he hadn’t done since 2009’s Home, Vol. 1 EP. "I thought if there was ever be a great time to do another record, this was it," he told The 615.

That project, "Broken Glass, Twisted Steel," is out this week on House’s own Victor House label. It’s a mixture of new material, along with a few songs that House has been waiting to put his stamp on for awhile.  "I’ve been wanting to do this record for a long time – with my versions of ‘Ain’t That Lonely Yet,’ ‘In A Week Or Two,’ or ‘A Broken Wing.’ I also had some new stuff on the record as well that I wanted to cut. It was just a good time. I really enjoyed it."

The singer reflected on the success of "A Broken Wing," a 1998 number one for McBride that has become one of her signature performances. "It’s like an old friend," he said warmly. "Somebody sang it the other night on 'The Voice,’ and they did a great job on it. You write a lot of songs, and you figure that one in a hundred is going to be special. That happened to be that one," he said.

The lead single from the disc is "Every Time It Rains," (Listen Above) and House says that he enjoys the creative process as much as he did when he moved to Music City in 1988. "Songwriting is still the same. That never changes. The way that people buy music is the only thing that has changed. We hope the streaming becomes more equitable for songwriters, because that hasn’t caught up to where people are now. We want to keep making music. It affects everyone down the chain, studios, producers, singing, writing. It’s not one of those vocation that you choose. It picks you. I have to do this. Music has been the driving forces in my life since I can remember. That hasn’t changed. I love to do this, and I’m very grateful to be doing something I love" 

House will be making his debut on the Grand Ole Opry this weekend. "I’m not sure why that didn’t happen back in the 90s. I’ve actually been on that stage – with George Jones and Tammy Wynette on their last tour, but I’ve never done the Opry," he says. "It’s a huge honor. I’m flying my mother out from Oregon. She’s so proud she can’t stand it. I’m glad I can share this with her. As soon as I wanted to have a guitar, she was right there. She’s been my biggest fan, and my father too. I can’t wait."

JAMES HOUSE TOUR DATES

July 16 -- Broughton, UK
July 17 -- Blackpool, UK
July 18 -- Bowburn, UK
July 19 -- Tarleton, UK
July 20 -- Lowes, UK
July 21 -- London, UK
July 24 -- St. Helens, UK
July 25 -- Kilmarnock, UK
July 26 -- Kettering, UK
July 27 -- Nottingham, UK
July 28 -- Selby, UK
July 29 -- Widnes, UK
July 30 -- Exeter, UK
July 31-- Doncaster, UK
August 1 -- Darlington, UK
August 2 -- Rochester, UK
August 3 -- Norwich, UK

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