Folks in the tiny town of Lake, Miss. (pop. 408) will have their eyes on tonight's CMA Awards to find out if local boy made good, Randy Houser, will take home either of the awards for which he's nominated: Best New Artist and Music Video of the Year.

The Scott County native, known locally by his real first name, Shawn, included photos of his hometown in the booklet for 'Anything Goes,' his acclaimed debut CD.

"The people of Scott County are a big part of what I am doing," Randy tells the Scott County Times. "People back home encouraged me so much when I was getting started and that's a big thing. I'm proud to be where I'm from and my music reflects who we are in Scott County."

While he may never have dreamed of being nominated for CMA Awards (and admits he doesn't think he'll win) Randy vividly recalls seeing the CMAs and thinking about making it to Nashville one day. "My roots are important to me. I remember sitting on my couch and watching these awards and thinking someday, I'll be there. We worked our butts off. I was used to that."

After high school and a stint at East Central Community College, Randy was in a band called Ten Pound Biscuit. He then left Scott County, making his way to Biloxi. He concentrated on songwriting during his earliest days in Music City. "I was OK with being a songwriter. There is a lot to be said for writing songs and I always figured it would take me as far as I am supposed to go."

And while home is never far away in his mind, or in his heart, he doesn't make it back there as often as he'd like.

"When I was just a songwriter, I could easily come back to Scott County for visits. It's not so easy now," he says, although he and his family recently made the trip to north Mississippi when he shot a music video.

Randy has just released 'Whistlin' Dixie,' the first single from his sophomore CD.