Photos: Summer Beats Nashville With Gloriana, Jana Kramer
Randy Houser performs during the Pepsi Summer Beats concert in Nashville on July 30th.

Title Track From 'How Country Feels' a Top 10 Hit on Country Charts

With a new year often comes a new outlook on life and career, as well as a new energy. That description definitely applies to Randy Houser, who will release "How Country Feels," his debut for Stoney Creek Records on January 22.

 

"We're just really excited about it," Houser tells Billboard. "The single is doing very well, and we're just ready to give the fans some new music."

 

He says that his signing with the new label after a two-album stint on Show Dog-Universal has definitely brought about a boost career-wise. "One of the main things is having that label support that we now have with Stoney Creek. They have been very pumped up about the music we're bringing to them."

 

 

In addition to a new record deal, it's a time of personal reinvention for the Mississippi native. Since his last album (2010's "They Call Me Cadillac"), he has married and became a father, with son West being born in March 2012.) "That's been the other side of it. I've had to try to figure out the balance of my career, being gone a lot, and figure out how to be a daddy and a husband. It's not easy, but it definitely is rewarding. That's been a very positive thing in my life."

 

Has he found that balance? He laughs, and says "I don't think there is a balance. I'm always stumbling and trying to figure it out. I don't know if anybody ever really figures it out. Maybe it's something I'll get good at one day."

 

The album contains a mixture of sounds and feels, such as the romantic "Let's Not Let It." He says the sensual feel might take some as a surprise, but as he notes, "I'm at a different place at my life. It's definitely a departure from where I was when I made my last record. I think there's a theme of that running through the music."

 

In addition to the single track, which is No. 8 on the Billboard Country Songs chart, the album also features "American Idol" alum Kristy Lee Cook on the ballad "Wherever Love Goes." Houser says working with Cook was a great experience. "The demo was really awesome, and I'm not sure we got anywhere close to it. I was really proud to have Kristy Lee Cook come in and sing on it. She just nailed it." Zac Brown and Levi Lowrey also contributed to the disc, helping to write "Along For The Ride."

 

Possibly the emotional showpiece of the album is the stunning "Power Of A Song." Houser says it's a song that hits home. "We all know that the right music makes us feel something. That's what we strive for artists, and as listeners - we just want to find music that moves us. That's what that song is about. It was written about ten years ago with Kent Blazy and Cory Batten. At the time I had moved here, I heard a song by Tammy Cochran called 'Life Happened,' and if you go back and listen to that song, you'll understand how that song moved me to go to Nashville. I was letting my life pass me by, and not doing what I should have with my music. That's what that song is about -- the power that music has to change your mood or change your mind. That's a very special thing to me."

 

As far as 2013 goes, Houser says he looks forward to "a lot of touring with Miranda Lambert and Dierks Bentley on the 'Locked and Reloaded' tour. "We'll start writing for the next album, and recording for it. We're just trying to get better, playing music for the fans live, and just having a great time."

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