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Randy Houser Performs Up Close & Country at Nash FM 94.7

On Tuesday, January 15, a lucky group of Nash FM 94.7 listeners and NYCountry Swag winners were invited to witness one of country music’s greatest vocalists, Randy Houser, live. Performing an acoustic set from the Hackensack Meridian Health Stage 17 as part of the station’s “Up Close and Country” series, Houser sang some of his biggest hits in addition to songs from his new album, Magnolia.

From the studio located high above Madison Square Garden, Houser launched his set with “How Country Feels,” which was the first song ever played on NASH FM 94.7 when it launched on January 21, 2013, and brought country music back to the Big Apple. Backed by a keyboardist and guitarist, Houser’s voice was on full display during the six-song set, which also included his first ever Top 5 hit, “Boots On,” which went to number 2. “There’s a big difference between number one and number two,” he laughed.

While Houser may have performed a few of his classics, the show was a really a celebration of Magnolia, released January 11th. For the singer-songwriter, the deeply-personal project was a “labor of love” that truly shows off a different side of the singer. “When I started this record, I had reached this point in my life where I wanted to make sure I was being able to flex my brain and my muscle,” Houser revealed. “I feel like a lot of times a lot of the music ends up staring to sound the same and like everyone else’s because everybody at a lot of record labels encourage people to copy the last thing that was working and whatever was the most popular thing last week. ‘Let’s make sure we do some of that.’ So for me, it was just like couldn’t do it. I grew a little bit tired of the same sound and I wanted to go create something that you could only get at Randy Houser’s house.”

In addition to the album, which Houser initially funded himself (“I thought I might get dropped,” he jokes of his record label.), the album is also the subject of a feature film, to be released at a later date. While the film was initially slated for release with the album, some large outlets and festivals have expressed interest, so the release is currently to be decided. According to Houser, the music serves as a backdrop for the film.

As for why he named the project Magnolia, Houser revealed that it all stemmed from a tree he discovered as a child that he’d get in trouble for climbing. “That’s partly the way I felt about this album. It was also something that was part of me climbing a tree and climbing up and ya know, using what I had to be me and to move up another level.” He felt like he was expected to “maintain the status quo” and make a lot of “different cars in that same color” because that was what was working and selling when it came to his music. “This album was sort of a return to myself, and what makes me, me…and the Magnolia trees I climbed.”

From the new album, Houser sang one of his favorite songs, “No Stone Unturned,” which he co-wrote with his brother-in-law Dallas Davidson about a “traveling man.” He also performed the ballad, “Our Hearts,” which was written about the start of his relationship with his wife, Tatiana. According to Houser, the song is “a really nice way of saying ‘Stay the heck out of my business’.”

Houser also performed “No Good Place to Cry,” a deeply personal track that was written nearly ten years ago during “a way crappier time” in his life. Of that track, he admitted that this was the first album the song had a home on saying, “I never felt like any of those albums deserved this song.” Houser also admitted that he wasn’t always super proud of the music he was releasing so he refrained from doing press. However, of Magnolia, he says, “This one I wanted to come back and brag on.”

Despite a fan request for one of his biggest hits, “Runnin’ Out of Moonlight,” to which Houser quipped “I never heard it,” he ended his set with his current single “What Whiskey Does”. With a voice as big as Madison Square Garden, Randy Houser charmed fans last night in the audience and on Facebook Live. If you didn’t have a chance to attend last night’s intimate show, you’re in luck because you can watch a replay of it below.

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Randy Houser Performs “No Stone Unturned” On Good Morning America

In celebration of Randy Houser’s new album Magnolia, he visited Good Morning America to sing his favorite track off the album, “No Stone Unturned.” Houser performed his single on the popular morning show, among a small and intimate crowd. Expecting a fast and upbeat song like others Houser has released, this one is quite the opposite and we are pleasantly surprised.

“No Stone Unturned” has Houser singing about trying to find himself in different places including New Orleans and Los Angeles, leaving no stone unturned. While trying to find himself among all these cities, he leaves no turn unstoned.

“Well, there ain’t no grass gonna grow up under my feet / No tellin’ where I might be / I can always find one hell of a time / While I’m out here lookin’ for me / No stone unturned, no turn unstoned.”

The studio audience clapped along to every beat and were quiet during the more tender moments of the song, cheering once the performance was over. It is not often the performer is surrounded by a studio audience, making a unique crowd for the singer-songwriter.

New York Country Swag is heading to catch Randy Houser tomorrow, Tuesday, January 15th when he performs for Up Close & Country at Stage 17 at Nash FM 94.7. Be on the lookout for a recap of his intimate New York City performance on Wednesday.

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NYCS First Impression: Randy Houser ‘Magnolia’

Randy Houser Magnolia

 

After a three year hiatus, country music recording artist Randy Houser has released his fifth studio album entitled Magnolia. The record features perfectly crafted lyrics, instrumentals, and vocals from start to finish. Each of the 12 tracks were co-written and co-produced by the singer, making this his most personal project to date.

The inspiration for the album is just as unique and interesting as each song. According to a recent press release, Houser chose to focus on a different path and sound, setting up camp in East Nashville at his friend and co-producers Keith Gattis’ studio. Each track was heavily influenced by the singer-songwriter’s own experiences, growing up in ‘The Magnolia State’ also known as Mississippi. Every song off the LP feels fresh, organic, and stripped down, keeping Houser’s gritty and commanding vocals at the forefront.

The album begins with Houser’s said to be, favorite song off the record, called “No Stone Unturned”. The track packs a quiet punch, with the cool guitar riffs that are constant, but it’s the entertainer’s vocals and relatable lyrics that really shine. Houser seeks out his path in life, as he reflects on his current journey throughout the song.

The next two songs on the album feature female counterparts. The talented Lucie Silvas lends her vocals to the beautiful “Our Hearts,” while, Hillary Lindsay duets with Houser in the heartbreaking, “What Whiskey Does”. The latter happens to be the lead single off the record. Both songs are polar opposites lyrically and sonically; however, are still two of the more powerful songs off the record.

Houser continues to play with the gamut of emotions in another track entitled “What Leaving Looks Like”. Another poignant break-up song, Houser showcases his artistry, as he deals with the feelings associated with knowing that his lover is leaving and the relationship is coming to an end. The ballad will leave listeners awestruck. “This ain’t my first ride / So come on and make it hurt / Do your best and do your worst / Put me through hell,” he croons.

Other highlights off the record include the honky-tonk inspired song “Whole Lotta Quit.” The upbeat track is radio-friendly, faster-tempo, and feels similar to Houser’s smash hit “How Country Feels,” from his 2013 album of the same name. Additionally, the track “New Buzz” is worth mentioning too. The song features backing vocals and guitar assistance from TJ and John of Brothers Osborne. The catchy chorus and enticing rhythm adds a different dynamic to the record.

Overall, Houser showcases true artistry with Magnolia, proving that he doesn’t need to rely on overproduction to create a great body of work. Houser shared in a recent press release that “Magnolia has been my beacon of light and restored my spirit and my truth. It’s also the most daring and honest piece of work I’ve made in my life,” and that truly shines through on each track.

Magnolia is now available everywhere you buy or stream music. Take a listen below and check out more new recently released music here on our ‘New Country Music’ playlist. Be sure to give the playlist a follow for your weekly new country music fix.

Next up, Houser will play a series of shows and appearances in major cities such as Nashville, Los Angeles, and Dallas. Houser hits New York City on January 15th for Nash FM’s 94.7 special Up Close and Country segment at HMH State 17th. Win tickets from NY Country Swag for the exclusive event here.

 

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New Music Friday – The Playlist

This week our New Country Music Playlist features new songs from Luke Pell, Florida Georgia Line, Lucie Silvas, Brandon Ray, Randy Houser, Olivia Lane, Clayton Anderson, an entire album of live music from Aaron Watson and plenty more. Give us a follow and take a listen below.

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NYCS Swag Spotlight Featuring Sam Grow

Sam Grow

“As a country music listener, if we think you’re full of shit, we don’t support you. That is why to me, country is the best genre that there is because they have the most amount of loyal listeners, where they are going to buy your record because they support you and what you stand for,” this week’s Swag Spotlight Sam Grow chats with New York Country Swag about creating the music he wants to release to his fans.  His father introduced him to the classic country sound and soul music when he was young, living in Kansas he started to really fall in love with music, attending one of hte biggest bluegrass festivals in the United States.  That is where he first saw Allison Krauss & Union Station and John McCutcheon explaining “…they had that great mix of soul and storytelling of the classics and it really just made me want to chase it and write songs and be honest.”

After attending an Allman Brothers reunion tour with his father when he was thirteen years old, he realized that he wanted to perform on stage one day and just three years later he started working on following that dream.  Since he was sixteen, he has been playing gigs across the country, each year striving to play 250 dates.  He moved to Nashville in 2013 where he signed a publishing deal with Ole Music Publishing and tells us that writing is one of the best parts of his job because he gets to reign in his life and be expressive in all of his music.

He has had the opportunity in his career to be the opening act for artists that he has admired for years including The Cadillac Three, and Randy Houser. Some things he has taken away from those experiences are the song choices, the way that they interact with their audiences and the different ways they change the songs to fit a live show. “I take notes on that, how they make it a better live experience, we work for the people who are nice enough to reach into their pocket and buy a ticket to come to our show so I want to try and give the best experience to anyone that comes out and is willing to spend their hard earned money to watch us,” Grow says.

His current EP, A Little Like Me features five tracks that Grow had either written or co-written.  The title track was written with Taylor Phillips who co-wrote “Hurricane” for Luke Combs and Brock Berryhill who has produced music with Kane Brown, Parmalee, and even Twenty One Pilots.  During that writing session, after talking about how much they loved 90’s country like Vince Gill, Alan Jackson, and Brooks & Dunn, Phillips just said: “I just want to write some stuff that’s a little more like me.” Thirty-five minutes later, they had a fully formed song, that combines southern rock and country that Grow is so fond of.

He isn’t worried if his music will be played on the radio or if it will compete with the latest songs topping the charts, he is proud of the music he is releasing and will continue to remain genuine to that. “A country music listener, that’s what they are built on, look at a guy like Eric Church, I go to an Eric Church concert and I listen to him sing songs and I know that every word that he is singing is true,” he explains.  He wants to create music that listeners can relate to and he understands the fans that love country music are looking for the same. “I’ve never chased that glitter because I grew up listening to Church and Kip Moore. When you come from nothing, and you get something, you appreciate it, you get to wake up and sing songs every day. I don’t need anything else other than that.”

Be sure to follow Sam Grow on social media for all of the latest details about his new music and tour schedule,  Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

 

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Subscribe to our Weekly Round-Up here 
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