Randy Houser Sings “What The Whiskey Does” on Kimmel

On the heels of releasing his most personal album to date, Magnolia, singer-songwriter Randy Houser takes on late night television. Houser took the stage at the venue on Hollywood Boulevard in California to perform for fans, as part of the Jimmy Kimmel LIVE! concert series sponsored by Mercedes-Benz, making his television debut performance of his bluesy song, “What Whiskey Does.”

Host Jimmy Kimmel eagerly introduced the singer to the audience with his record in hand, “This is his album. It’s called Magnolia. Here with the song, “What Whiskey Does,” with help from Hillary Lindsey, Randy Houser!” The camera quickly moved to showcase a beaming Houser and his four-piece band, ready to rock on stage. The entertainer was joined by fellow songwriter, Lindsey, who lent her voice to both the live performance and the recorded track.

Houser gave fans an epic rendition of his new song, showcasing his beautiful voice, as well as, his guitar skills, while Lindsey provided delicate harmonies to the already enticing track. About midway through the performance, Houser belted the lyrics, proving, once again, why he is one of the best vocalists in country music. The live studio audience immediately erupted into applause. Houser’s performance ended with some acapella notes, followed by an awesome guitar solo.

Just prior to his Kimmel performance, Houser released the official music video for “What Whiskey Does.” The video follows a potential couple, as they navigate the highs and the lows of their relationship, starting in a bar. The singer acts as the lyrical narrator to the song, as well as, makes a cameo as the bartender. The images are raw, real, and vulnerable, just like the song. Watch the full video below.

Next up for Houser, he will play some shows, fairs, and rodeos throughout the month of February. As of right now, he is not scheduled to play any shows in the New York area anytime soon, but keep checking our calendar to see if any shows are added in the future.


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What We’re Listening To: January Picks

NYCountry Swag’s “What We’re Listening To” playlist highlights the wide range of our team’s favorite songs and artists when it comes to the country music genre.  At the end of the day, we are all fans first with a passion for country music and are eager to share with you all what we’ve got on repeat each month.

Find below each of our team member’s favorite songs and why in our January picks. Then be sure to give our Spotify account a follow and listen to our favorite tracks!




Stephanie Wagner, Founder

Pick: “Every Little Thing” – Russell Dickerson
Songwriters: Casey Brown, Parker Welling, Russell Dickerson

“It’s no surprise that one of my favorite artists is Russell Dickerson, so every time he releases a new song to radio, I always have it playing.  “Every Little Thing” is such a fun, upbeat song from Dickerson’s debut album, Yours, and when he performs the tune live, his energy lifts the entire venue to another level. I’m excited for the world to hear more of this song and can’t wait to see it become his third #1 song.”


Christina Bosch, Managing Editor 

Pick: “Confetti” – Gone West
Songwriters: Colbie Caillat, Danelle Reeves, Eric Arjes, Jason Reeves, Justin Kawika Young

“Recently I was driving and heard a song on Sirius XM The Highway that sounded a lot like Little Big Town, I looked down to see the name of a new band, Gone West, singing “Confetti”. After I did some digging I realized the main aspect of why I loved what I heard, one of the female voices was very familiar, singer-songwriter Colbie Caillat. Caillat teamed up with her husband Justin and husband and wife Danelle and Jason to create Gone West. Their incredible harmonies draw you in while the catchy lyrics will get stuck in your head.

“Yeah, my heart didn’t break when I broke into that old bottle of fancy champagne / I’ve been saving for the perfect time/ You can’t rain on my parade / Got my freedom, gonna celebrate / When you left, I was so damn ready / No tears fell, just confetti.

Their debut EP, Tides was released last Friday and each song is better than the last. I am looking forward to hearing more from these musicians and in the meantime, I’ll be over here dancing to “Confetti”.


Nicole Bochinis, Contributing Writer

Pick: “GIRL” – Maren Morris
Songwriters: Greg Kurstin, Maren Morris, Sarah Aarons

“GIRL” by Maren Morris is her brand-new song and I am loving every second of it. Since the moment I heard it, I have had it on repeat all day every day. Recently life has been throwing curveballs at me and this song is the perfect pick me up. Every girl should know that they are stronger than they think, and it is the perfect women empowerment song. I can’t wait to see what other new music Maren has in store for us!


Kelly Cunningham, Contributing Writer

Pick: “All On You” – Mitchell Tenpenny
Songwriters: Andrew Albert, Jordan Schmidt, Mitchell Tenpenny, Nick Fradiani

“When I first heard Mitchell Tenpenny’s new album, Telling All My Secrets, this was the first track that stood out to me. The catchy, quick lyrics that make you want to sing along is the most unique melody I’ve heard from Tenpenny so far. His voice can pull off any note and he made an outstanding impression on me with this new album. This track can be a potential single I see in Tenpenny’s future. ”


Taylor Felvey, Contributing Writer

Pick: “Honky Tonk Flame” – Tyler Childers
Songwriters: Tyler Childers

If you’d like to experience old-school country with a modern age feel – look no further. The moment I heard this song I downloaded every album Tyler Childers has and put the song on repeat. The opening chords and story remind me of something Johnny Cash would write. The love song tells the story of a man trying to woo his new woman, who is no-nonsense, and how he’ll need to step up before he steps out with her.

“Hold on now buddy won’t you wait up a minute / You’re mistaken if you think I’m the same as them skirts you’ve been chasing all over town / Along with that honky tonk flame / I’m a woman with a love so true / Truth of the matter, I’d give it to you / You just got to slow down and quit acting that way / Burning your barn in this honky tonk flame”


Molly Holmberg, Contributing Writer

Pick: “Really Shouldn’t Drink Around You” – Teddy Robb
Songwriters: Josh Osborne, Shane McAnally, Trevor Rosen

“Since seeing Teddy Robb a few times in Nashville during his Teddy and Friends shows that we covered, the music that he previewed from his upcoming EP was amazing. Now one of the artists we are most excited about in 2019 is our own Swag Spotlight star.

Just after signing to Monument Records, Robb has been working nonstop with some of Nashville’s best songwriters to create his first project. His newest release following “Lead Me On” which has been streamed over 4 million times, “Really Shouldn’t Drink Around You” was released at the beginning of the year. The new song is relaxed and easy going. Describing the decisions that are made when drinking around an ex, Robb decides that maybe it isn’t always the best idea. The song is currently being featured on Spotify’s ‘New Boots’ playlist and Apple Music’s ‘Breaking Country’ playlist. We are patiently waiting for the anticipated release of Robb’s new project and cannot wait for it to come out!”


Nicole Piering, Contributing Writer

Pick: “Running Man” – Randy Houser
Songwriters: Jeffrey Steele, Randy Houser

“When I began listening to Randy Houser’s new album, Magnolia, I was immediately taken by how mature his voice sounded and how deeply personal the singer’s lyrics had become. Since releasing the album, Houser has revealed that he wasn’t always proud of his past musical releases, but that he’s very proud of his newest album.

Despite the fact that I truly enjoy every song on the album, it was track 11, “Running Man,” that immediately captured my attention. The song tells the story of a man who discovers what he was made for, but continues running through lives, filling his “pockets full of empty things.” It’s easy to look at this song as autobiographical for Houser, and it’s even more powerful listening to it that way. On this song, Houser challenges himself vocally and lyrically, and this song is truly a must-listen. “Every show’s got an end/ Where’re you gonna go then/ Running man?”.”


Olivia Reese, Contributing Writer

Pick: “Wilder Horses” Brandon Lay
Songwriters: Brandon Lay, Jon Nite, Ross Copperman

“Wilder Horses” by Brandon Lay is the epitome of a nostalgic song. The lyrics provide a vivid image of missing someone and days gone by “I think about you a little too much these days/Riding no-name lost back roads we take/Ain’t easy for gettin’ out innocent stays”

 I’ve been listening to this song on repeat since it came out late last year after really enjoying other music Bradon Lay has released. The imagery of the lyrics is what really got me hooked on this song. It’s like a quick story and you can imagine yourself there experiencing the simultaneous feeling of innocent love and longing for past days  “Whoa I wish I was down in Dixie tonight / Where we were / Wilder Horses, stronger whiskey, faster two lanes / Every other mile marker you kiss me


Nicole Sellati, Contributing Writer

Pick: “Puzzle of Us” – Adam Doleac
Songwriters: Adam Doleac and Anthony Smith

“Recently, Adam Doleac kicked off the year releasing not one but two tracks. Both songs, “Famous” and “Puzzle of Us” are incredible, showing off his pure talent and smooth vocals. It’s hard to pick which of the two is my favorite, but if I had to choose one, it would be “Puzzle of Us.” I fell in love with the story behind the song, showing that inspiration can easily come from anywhere.

“The only piece missin’ is you / Fallin’ into my kiss / Your hand slippin’ through my fingertips / Locked up in my arms where you perfectly fit / I wanna hold you so close / I can feel your heartbeat / And be the air that you breathe / And together you and me can put together all the colors of love / Yeah well that’s the puzzle of us”

Doleac took a moment with a stranger and turned it into a beautiful love song. “Puzzle of Us” has easily become a favorite of mine, and I can’t wait to see what he comes out with next!”


Danielle Tornatore, Contributing Writer

Pick: “The Way That She Loves” – Tyler Hilton

Songwriters: David Barnes, Jon Green, Jordan Reynolds

“One Tree Hill is my all time favorite show, so of course I have to listen to all of the music Tyler Hilton puts out. I love his previous albums because of his unique sound and raspy voice, but his newly released album, City on Fire, has to be my absolute favorite. There’s just something about the country twist on this one that is sticking with me, particularly “The Way That She Loves.” This song reminds me of something that would play in an early 2000s teen movie and I wholeheartedly mean that in the best way possible. Between the lyrics, the beat, and his voice, this has to be my favorite on the album and possibly of all of his music, obviously besides the iconic “When The Stars Go Blue” (if you know, you know).”


Shanna Vitaliano, Contributing Writer

Pick: “Michigan for the Winter”
Songwriters: Aaron Eshuis, Neil Mason, Ryan Hurd 

For this month, the song I chose is Ryan Hurd’s “Michigan for the Winter” written by himself, Aaron Eshuis and Neil Mason of The Cadillac Three. With his commanding vocals and captivating lyrics, you can practically feel the loneliness and emptiness Hurd sings about throughout the mid-tempo breakup song.

With lyrics like: “I can’t stay watching you move on all February long/I’m going to Michigan for the winter/Between the dark and the light of the sky and the snow/Most people go south for the weather/Instead of hiding out in the cold,” Hurd takes us on a journey escaping a broken heart and returning to his home state of Michigan.

I am sure all of us in the NY area including myself can relate to the cold weather feeling Hurd sings about in “Michigan for the Winter” regardless if we are going through a breakup or not. It is the perfect song to play on a chilly day while relaxing on the couch with a glass of wine and the fireplace going! I am excited Hurd will be singing this song live Friday, January 25th at his sold-out show at The Bowery Ballroom in New York City!


Erica Zisman, Contributing Writer

Pick: “Heart’s Having a Hard Time” – Filmore
Songwriters: Hannah Ellis, Jason Massey, Tyler Filmore 

“This month it was really difficult for me to pick a song, especially with all the great records that have dropped recently. After much deliberation, I kept going back to Filmore’s “Heart’s Having a Hard Time.” I discovered the song thanks to NYCS’s 2019 Artists to Watch list. I had heard of Filmore, but never really listened to any of his songs. Right away, I found “Heart’s Having a Hard Time” to be completely relatable and heartbreaking all at the same time.

The feel of the song is right on trend but still feels fresh and new. More importantly, this track makes me excited to hear more from the recording artist, which is always exciting for me. I encourage you to give “Heart’s Having a Hard Time” a listen if you haven’t already.”



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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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