Randy Houser: Family ‘Changed My Life’ & Career
Since releasing his debut album, Anything Goes, in 2008, Randy Houser has seen the highs and the lows of the music industry. His second single, “Boots On,” peaked at No. 2 on the chart, but was followed by four songs that never broke the Top 30. The stress and occupational hazards of the business had the singer-songwriter questioning whether or not he wanted to continue as a performer.
“I’d gotten to the spot where I had let the lifestyle of what I was doing — the road life and all the things that come with it — sort of take over who I was,” Randy tells The Boot. “I wasn’t raised that way. You go out there and there’s so many things that can consume you. There were actually nights when I would lay in my bed and think I was going to almost die. I’d literally pray and say, ‘God, I’m not done yet.’ I don’t want to go yet. My blood pressure would be really high. My heart would be just pounding. I was an unhappy person.”
While his personal life was a factor, the direction of his career was definitely a problem, as well. “I’ve seen it go good, but then I reached a period where I was doing all I could and I wasn’t getting the support that I needed,” he recalls. “I was doing everything I could and it felt like at sometimes that I wasn’t the one reaping the benefits of it. All the charity stuff, all the radio stuff, all the free stuff, I felt like I was the puppet in a way.”
One might guess that the change came when he switched record labels, moving from Show Dog Universal to Stoney Creek Records in 2011, but the “Runnin’ Out of Moonlight” singer cites a personal development as being the catalyst. “I remember the turning point,” he says. “I remember when I met my wife and that she could just grab my hand and I would just ease. I don’t know how to say that but it was one of the coolest things. It was strange, but it definitely changed my life.”
Since marrying Jessa Lee Yantz in 2011, Randy recorded and released his third album, How Country Feels, which garnered his first-ever No. 1 single. The tune, also entitled “How Country Feels,” has already been certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America, for sales exceeding 500,000 downloads. The singer credits the success to his family.
“There’s a very direct correlation,” he assures. “When I first met my wife, I really just settled down quite a bit and I started living a much cleaner lifestyle. I was able to concentrate on things that I neglected in the past a little more and I was spending a lot more time at home than I normally would. It’s not being out on the road but when I would go home, I would just go out all the time. There’s something about when you find somebody that makes you happy. It just calms you right down, that was what was great.”
In addition to his wife, the Mississippi native has his 11-month-old son to thank for keeping him from throwing in his hat as a performer. “My little boy, West, and my wife, they’re my rock and that’s the thing that keeps driving me to do better at what I do professionally,” Randy acknowledges. “There was a time in my career where I had been on this huge roller coaster ride and I’d really got in the spot where I could’ve hung up it and just been a songwriter. They really inspired me to kind of keep doing what I was doing so I never would give up. I was always going to make music, but I cleaned up my act a lot just to be a good dad and a husband. That sort of changed my career professionally too.”
How Country Feels is out now.
Check back to The Boot for more from our exclusive interview with Randy in the coming weeks, as well as his AOL Sessions performance, which will premiere later this month.