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Randy Houser

They Call Me Cadillac

Randy Houser They Call Me Cadillac

  • CD1: 1. Lowdown And Lonesome
  • CD1: 2. They Call Me Cadillac
  • CD1: 3. Addicted
  • CD1: 4. A Man Like Me
  • CD1: 5. Will I Always Be This Way
  • CD1: 6. Out Here In The Country
  • CD1: 7. Here With Me
  • CD1: 8. Whistlin' Dixie
  • CD1: 9. Somewhere South Of Memphis
  • CD1: 10. If I Could Buy Me Some Time
  • CD1: 11. Lead Me Home

They Call Me Cadillac

"People are ready for real country music again," says Randy Houser, and there are few people in a better position to give it to them. Blessed with one of his generation's great voices, he is also a world-class songwriter, penning hits for artists including Trace Adkins and Justin Moore, and a seasoned entertainer known for the passion and energy he brings to every performance. His debut album, Anything Goes, introduced him as an exceptional artist, someone with both a cutting-edge sound and a deep respect for classic country. Fans, media and peers alike recognized that he possesses an artistic vision equal to his formidable talent. The strong reaction to his music was evident when David Letterman heard the album's powerful first single, "Anything Goes," and invited Randy to perform on the Late Show, introducing him to an even broader nationwide audience. A searing portrayal of emptiness and loss, "Anything Goes" rose quickly into the Top 20. Randy followed it with one of the rowdiest songs and coolest videos of recent years-"Boots On," which rocketed to #2. Randy was named Country Aircheck's No. 1 New Country Artist in terms of airplay for 2009, and was a presenter and a nominee at both the ACM Awards (Video of the Year for "Boots On") and the CMA Awards (New Artist of the Year and Music Video of the Year), as well as garnering a nomination for the 2010 CMT Music Awards' Nationwide® Insurance On Your Side® Award.  At the awards show he helped host Kid Rock kick off the festivities with a surprise appearance on stage during a medley of "Cowboy," "Bawitdaba" and "Good Ol' Boys." With one of country music's most promising young careers, Randy is taking a major step forward with his sophomore album, They Call Me Cadillac.

"I wanted to make a record I wanted to hear," he explains. "I put my heart into this, and the result is something I'm really proud of." From the beginning, Randy and co-producers Cliff Audretch III and Mark Wright agreed on a straightforward approach that focused on the meaningful lyrics of the songs. "I want to catch people's ears not just with a guitar hook, but with the words. I didn't want too much going on around it."

The result, recorded with Randy's own band, rather than studio musicians, is a stark and straightforward effort that does full justice to an artist heavily influenced by the classic works of idols like Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard, George Jones and Waylon Jennings. The album covers a great deal of musical and thematic ground.  Randy includes pure fun, rowdy, foot-stomping tracks like "Out Here in the Country" and "Whistlin' Dixie," but also manages to capture the ups and downs of love on other tracks, demonstrating his artistic range.   The manic and mile-a-minute declaration of "I'm All About It" contrasts sharply with the naked need of "Addicted." The poignant look at love and longing that is "Here With Me" is a great compliment to the clever, rough-edged nod to love's losers in "Lowdown and Lonesome." "Man Like Me," with its straight-ahead country approach and lyrics steeped in love and gratitude, is heavily reminiscent of the best of Don Williams and Randy Travis.

While these songs are a fantastic representation of Randy's songwriting prowess, the remaining songs on the project complete this impressive collection and prove why Randy deserves to stand out among his peers. He excels on the blues-drenched "Somewhere South Of Memphis" and the pure gospel loveliness of "Lead Me Home," a song that explores, with grace and wonder, the end of the human journey. Both songs let him stretch vocally, and together they offer a stunning example of the scope and quality of his work. Showcasing his classic country side, "If I Could Buy Me Some Time" responds to the roller coaster life of a touring musician, while, with its weepy steel resonance and its anguished introspection, Randy truly shines on "Will I Always Be This Way."

Overall, the mix of moods and topics is the project's appeal. "I wanted the flow to carry you up for a bit so you could have fun," Randy adds, "and then I wanted it to come back down to where you really had to listen." The album's title song is a nod to Randy's nickname. "My buddy Dallas Davidson is the one who came up with that," he says with a grin. "That's my identity to my friends around here. It has to do with being relaxed and laid back and comfortable. I guess I'm comfortable in my own skin and when you think about Cadillac's, that's what they are-big and comfortable." They Call Me Cadillac is an album that proves why Randy is among the most talented of his generation and of crucial importance to the genre. With the help of his good friends and collaborators Jamey Johnson and Jerrod Niemann, he has brought a needed dose of rugged individualism to the airwaves. Together they form the core of a group of modern-day artists who live and breathe country music - road warriors who lay aside formulaic notions of commercialism and appeal to audiences with respect to traditionalism and their individual passions.

"We're just doing what we do. We don't strive to be something we're not. We would be unhappy just following the status quo. If you don't really dig into yourself you're never going to separate yourself from the pack, so why not do it how you want to? We're just people who do it our own way." Randy has been making music his own way since his earliest days in Lake, Mississippi. He was exposed to the best of the region's rich mix of music, including country, gospel, rock, and blues. He learned to love creating and playing music from his father, a professional musician.

"The funny thing is I've known this is what I wanted to do since I was five or six years old. I wanted to be an entertainer, a songwriter. I didn't know at that age I was going to have a talent for it. I didn't know about chasing girls or good times. It was pure and simple about something I really loved, which is music." For years Randy stayed closed to home, playing clubs all throughout Mississippi, but after his father died when he was 21, he decided to move to Nashville. His standout focal prowess voice impressed one person after another, and the connections kept multiplying. He earned a publishing deal and began turning out songs for Trace Adkins, Justin Moore, and Jessie James, among others. It wasn't long before he began his own ascent up the charts as a recording artist. "I spent a lot of years working my ass off to get lucky," he says with a wry grin. His passion for his craft shows not only in every cut, but also in every performance. "When I go out there and sing, I cannot half-ass it. That's just part of the way I grew up. You go at something, you want to sell it. When I've got something to say, especially in a song, I want you to get it, so I'm not one of those quiet singers. I can't just lullaby you. I'm getting on it."

The result is a mix of passion, talent, and showmanship that place him among this generation's most compelling artists. Combine those with the integrity he brings to his music and his knowledge of and respect for country music's traditions, and it's clear that Randy is on his way to becoming one for the ages.

Randy Houser - Track-by-Track

“They Call Me Cadillac” (Randy Houser, Brice Long)
Brice Long and I were on the bus and I started playing that bluesy lick and the verse just came out. “I’ve been known to lay around all day…” The rest of it came flying out, like it was one of those things that just cosmically happened. I couldn’t think of a better name for the record.

“Addicted” (Randy Houser, Danny Green)
It’s about that point in your relationship where you feel like you can’t be apart from somebody and you just crave more and more of that person. I was writing a lot in that period and I kind of set this one aside for a while but then I started playing it live and getting a great reaction to it and it just became one of my favorite songs.

“Man Like Me” (Randy Houser, Danny Green, Jameson Clark)
I almost put this on the first album. Danny and Jameson and I were writing and we really didn’t have anything, but I started strumming the first part of the song and that laid back Conway verse melody hit me. I heard these Dixieland chord changes on the chorus and we had New Orleans style horns on the demo. We didn’t do that on the record, and I kind of wish we had.

“Will I Always Be This Way” (Randy Houser, Brice Long)
Man, I love that song. You think about who you are as an artist and as a person, the things you fight trying to be a better man, and I think that song is probably one of the more honest moments of writing on the record. There are a lot of challenges that come with what we do and a lot of temptations, and this came out of reflecting on how you learn to deal with all that in this business.

“Out Here In The Country” (Randy Houser, Brice Long)
We recorded that a little differently than we wrote it. It originally had more of a swing to it and then we got in the studio and I started hearing that guitar part that I played on the acoustic. I’d had that “hogs and the frogs and the dogs and my baby and me” thing in my head for several months and I never knew how I was going to use it. Then that song came along. I wrote the first line and kind of filled in the blanks from there on, but I knew I had to get the hogs and frogs and dogs in there. As we wrote it, it reminded me of something Hank Jr. might have done and I really like that.

“I’m All About It” (Randy Houser, Mark D. Sanders, Ed Hill)
This is just a fun, up-tempo song. It’s something that’s really fun to play live, with a cool little attitude and melody.

“Here With Me” (Randy Houser)
The first verse and chorus of that song was almost a spiritual experience. I was sitting in my living room strumming my guitar and literally ten minutes later I had the verse and chorus melody and lyric done. It was like I was gone for a minute and there it was. Sometimes if you listen you just receive it. I played it for the troops in Iraq with the original second verse, which kind of took a left turn, and when the show was done they were showing me photos of their loved ones. That was the song they latched onto because of the first verse and chorus and I knew I needed to say something different with the second. Those men and women helped me solidify what was supposed to be said.

“Whistlin’ Dixie” (Randy Houser, Kim Tribble)
Another one of my favorite songs I’ve ever written. It just came barreling out of me. I think the word “Dixie” in it fooled some people. It has nothing to do with being from South. It’s about a state of mind—“Like me or not, this is who I am.” It’s one of those songs people sing every word to everywhere we go across the country.

“Somewhere South Of Memphis” (Randy Houser, Kent Blazy)
This was one of my first times to write with Kent, who has written so many of Garth Brooks’ hits. I was pretty new in town and for a guy like that to give me a writing appointment was pretty cool. I didn’t have any kind of hit song ideas, but what I did have was something that was coming from the heart and soul. I’d been thinking about where I’d come from and about my daddy dying, sitting in a little apartment by myself. I didn’t really know anybody in town yet and I was lonely as hell and I started writing this. I took it to Kent the next day and he was the perfect guy to write it with. It’s still one of my favorite songs.

“If I Could Buy Me Some Time” (Randy Houser, Shane Minor)
These days we’re running our butts off trying to get from Point A to Point Z and all the places in between. I remember seeing a few pictures of my first big year on the road and realizing those were the only things I could remember. You just don’t get to sit back and enjoy it. I got to thinking, “If I could just buy me some chill-out time, I’d pay anything for it.” That’s what the song is about, the way everything’s moving so fast.

“Lead Me Home” (Randy Houser, Craig Monday)
I’d written a few songs with Craig and one day we started talking about our dads passing away. We’d never really put that connection together before. I got a picture in my head of when my daddy was dying and we were thinking, “Can you imagine what it would be like crossing over? What they might have seen?” That song represents what I choose to believe my daddy got to do.