FOR 12/18: Top 10 Randy Houser Songs
Randy Houser first appeared on the scene in 2008, with "Anything Goes," his first charting single. Since then, the baritone-voiced singer has released four albums, with his latest, Magnolia, forthcoming in 2019.
His four studio albums have resulted in a handful of No. 1 hits, platinum-sellers and award season nominations. From songs about love to songs about loving the country, Houser does it all.
Today, we're counting down Houser's top 10 songs. Read along to see our favorites (and for a surprise reveal about what infamous country tune Houser helped co-write).
“In God’s Time” isn’t on any of Houser’s albums, and it never cracked the Top 40, but it’s may be the singer’s most personal song. Houser co-write the song with Shane Minor and David Lee Murphy, and he tells The Boot that the song came from a place of pain. “I was in a place where all the things I thought would make me truly happy I found could make me just as miserable. This song had been on my heart for about three weeks. We wrote another song, and everyone was packing up to leave, and I sat down and played the first chord and sang "In God's Time." I said, "Shane, I'm supposed to write this song. Do y'all want to stay?" Both of them said [yes].” The result was “In God’s Time,” a quiet, acoustic song that digs at the heart of faith and shares a side of Houser we don’t always hear.
“Whistlin’ Dixie” is vintage Houser. The lead single from his sophomore album, They Call Me Cadillac, “Whistlin’ Dixie” is a celebration of the rough and tumble country life. The song sounds just as rowdy as its lyrics, with the opening lines finding Houser declaring, “Yeah, I like to run with the old dogs / Learn bad habits from my paw paw / I got an in with the Outlaws / And I can only sing like I talk, y’all.” It’s an upbeat, mid-tempo celebration of country living, and Houser makes it a lot of fun.
“Anything Goes” introduced the world to Randy Houser. The first single off his debut album of the same name, “Anything Goes” is a mid-tempo ballad about a tumultuous one-night stand. It’s a song with a rich, traditional country song, with the story of heartbreak pushed along by a steel guitar. “Anything goes when everything’s gone,” the chorus opines. “You ain’t around to give a damn whether I do right or wrong.” The song peaked at No. 16 on the country charts, but more importantly, opened the door to the world for more Houser music.
When Houser dropped “What Whiskey Does,” it was his first single release in over two years -- and the first listen at his upcoming 2019 album, Magnolia. The result is extremely promising. The song is about making the world disappear through drink, with Houser’s deep voice delivering lyrics like, "When that ice-cold beer loses its buzz / I'm gonna let that whiskey do what whiskey does." Hillary Lindsey accompanies Houser on vocals, and the combination of their voices is like a perfect drink and chaser.
That’s right. One of the three men behind Trace Adkins’ infamous hit “Honky Tonk Badonkadonk” was Randy Houser (along with co-writers Jamey Johnson and Dallas Davidson). That trio are responsible for one of the goofiest earworms in country history -- and a certified smash hit. “Honky Tonk Badonkadonk” was a crossover smash, going to No. 2 on the Hot Country chart, and also becoming Adkins’ first single to also reach the top 40 on the Billboard Hot 100 and the Pop 100. So when you hear Adkins’ baritone voice singing, “Honky tonk badonkadonk / Keepin’ perfect rhythm / Makes you want to swing along,” remember that Randy Houser is partially responsible.
“Runnin’ Outta Moonlight,” the second single from 2013’s How Country Feels, is one of Houser’s biggest smash hits to date. It’s a fresh take on a classic story of desperation, flirtation and falling in love underneath the stars. “Come on, baby, don’t you keep me waitin’ / I gotta go, I gotta reservation for two underneath the stars / Kiss on your lips when you’re in my arms,” Houser sings in the catchy chorus. The super-popular song was a No. 1 hit on the Billboard Country charts and went platinum in both the U.S. and Canada.
Houser scored his first No. 1 country hit doing what he does best: praising the country lifestyle (while flirting with a girl). “You never rolled in the hay, you never thrown it in four wheel,” he chastises. “Climb up on here, girl / Let me shows you how country feels.” The platinum-selling single has an irresistible hook and is flirty fun the whole way through. The CMT Breakthrough Video of the Year-winning music video is definitely worth checking out, too.
“Boots On” was the second single from Houser’s debut album, Anything Goes, and it quickly became his first top five hit. Like many Houser jams, it’s a full-throated celebration of living a hardworking, hard-partying rural life with “boots on.” Like Houser sings in the chorus, “[With] these calloused hands / And a muddy pair of jeans / With that Copenhagen ring / No need to change a thing / Hey y’all / I’m going out with my boots on.” The music video also features an adorable toddler jamming on a kid-sized guitar and lip-syncing the lyrics, so it’s definitely worth watching.
“We Went” was the lead single from Houser’s fourth album, Fired Up, and it was the album’s most successful song. “We Went” went to the top of the country charts, driven by Houser’s quick lyrical delivery and hard minor power chords. The song is all about living in the moment, with the chorus telling a story about late night adventures: “We were tail lights fading from some blue lights chasing / Cut a path through the corn on the Country Road 44 / Tore up a fence, jumped in a ditch, felt so good / We didn’t want it to end / So we went.”
“Like a Cowboy,” the fourth single from How Country Feels, is a powerful ballad that showcases Houser at his vocal best. There’s a powerful build in the pre-chorus, as Houser sings, “I know this life is crazy / But I’ll be home soon, baby,” before declaring, “I’ll ride in on a sunny day / Sing you a song, steal your heart away / Like a cowboy.” It’s the Houser song most likely to stick in your head for days, and it was a No. 3 hit that is gold certified. “Like a Cowboy” was also nominated for the CMA Award for Song of the Year.