Want to know “How Country Feels”? Get Randy Houser’s take on it Friday, at Elmwood Park.
Houser, who hit the Billboard country music top 10 with that song in 2012, headlines the park’s amphitheater, closing Berglund Center’s Bud Light Up the Night Series. Thompson Square opens the show.
“How Country Feels” was the title track of a 2013 album that produced four country top 10s, including “Runnin’ Outta Moonlight.” Another song, “We Went,” traveled up the sales and airplay lists in 2017. But nothing from his 2019 album, “Magnolia,” has made a dent, though the album itself made it to No. 11 on the country albums chart in January, the month it was released, according to Billboard.com.
The lack of radio play might have something to do with Houser’s stated intention to make a different type of record.
“When writing for this new project, I knew the production had to lean on songs and melodies, not a bunch of tricks and loops,” Tasteofcountry.com reported Houser as saying. “That was the catalyst for the album. So, for the past two years we’ve been focused on trying to find a unique sound and trying to best serve the songs.”
The single “What Whiskey Does” is a laid-back, half-time groove with lyrics in the classic country mold of drinking to forget the pain. Hear it and see a live performance video from “Jimmy Kimmel Live” at youtu.be/3SlIt6cCBas. The recording features one of Houser’s co-songwriters, Hillary Lindsey, singing harmony.
That video doubles as a good preview of the strong, Mississippi-twangy vocal style and range that Houser brings to a live concert.