Randy Houser first appeared on the country music scene in 2008, with “Anything Goes,” his first charting single, and an album of the same name. In the decade since then, the baritone-voiced singer has released four additional records, with his fifth and latest disc, Magnolia, coming in early 2019.
Houser’s five studio albums have spawned a handful of No. 1 hits, platinum-selling songs and awards nominations. From songs about love to songs about loving the country, Houser does it all.
Below, The Boot counts down Houser’s Top 10 songs from throughout his career. Read on for our favorites (and for a surprise reveal about which infamous country tune Houser helped co-write):
“In God’s Time”
“In God’s Time” isn’t on any of Houser’s albums, and it never cracked the Top 40, but it may be the singer’s most personal song. Houser co-write the track with Shane Minor and David Lee Murphy; he tells The Boot that the song came from a place of pain.
“I was in a place where all the things I thought would make me truly happy I found could make me just as miserable,” Houser admits. “This song had been on my heart for about three weeks. We wrote another song, and everyone was packing up to leave, and I sat down and played the first chord and sang “In God’s Time.” I said, ‘Shane, I’m supposed to write this song. Do y’all want to stay?’ Both of them said [yes].”
The quiet, acoustic “In God’s Time” digs at the heart of faith and shares a side of Houser we don’t always hear.
From ‘They Call Me Cadillac’ (2010)
“Whistlin’ Dixie” is vintage Houser. The lead single from his sophomore album, They Call Me Cadillac, the song is a celebration of the rough-and-tumble country life – and it sounds just as rowdy as its lyrics. The opening lines finding Houser declaring, “Yeah, I like to run with the old dogs / Learn bad habits from my paw-paw / I got an in with the outlaws / And I can only sing like I talk, y’all.” “Whistlin’ Dixie” is an upbeat, mid-tempo celebration of country living, and Houser makes it an awful lot of fun.
From ‘Anything Goes’ (2008)
“Anything Goes” introduced the world to Houser. The first single off of his debut album of the same name, the song is a mid-tempo ballad about a tumultuous one-night stand; it’s a rich, traditional country tune, with the story of heartbreak pushed along by a steel guitar.
“Anything goes when everything’s gone,” the chorus opines. “You ain’t around to give a damn whether I do right or wrong.”
The song peaked at No. 16 on the country charts, but more importantly, it opened the door to the world for more of Houser’s music.
“What Whiskey Does”
From ‘Magnolia’ (2019)
When Houser dropped “What Whiskey Does,” it was his first single release in over two years — and the first listen to his 2019 album Magnolia. The result is extremely promising: a song about making the world disappear through drink, with Houser’s deep voice delivering lyrics including, “When that ice-cold beer loses its buzz / I’m gonna let that whiskey do what whiskey does.” Hillary Lindsey accompanies Houser on vocals — the perfect chaser.
“Honky Tonk Badonkadonk”
From Trace Adkins’ ‘Songs About Me’ (2005)
That’s right: Houser is one of the three men behind Trace Adkins’ infamous hit “Honky Tonk Badonkadonk” (the others are Jamey Johnson and Dallas Davidson). That trio is responsible for one of the goofiest earworms in country music history — and a certified hit. “Honky Tonk Badonkadonk” was a crossover smash, going to No. 2 on the Hot Country Songs chart and also becoming Adkins’ first single to also reach the Top 40 on the all-genre Billboard Hot 100 and the Pop 100. So when you hear Adkins’ baritone voice singing, “Honky-tonk badonkadonk / Keepin’ perfect rhythm / Makes you wanna swing along,” remember that Houser is partially responsible.
“Runnin’ Outta Moonlight”
From ‘How Country Feels’ (2013)
“Runnin’ Outta Moonlight,” the second single from 2013’s How Country Feels, is one of Houser’s biggest hits to date. It’s a fresh take on a classic story of desperation, flirtation and falling in love underneath the stars: “Come on, baby, don’t you keep me waitin’ / I gotta go, I gotta reservation for two underneath the stars / Kiss on your lips when you’re in my arms,” Houser sings in the catchy chorus. The super-popular song was a No. 1 hit on the Billboard country charts and went platinum in both the U.S. and Canada.
“How Country Feels”
From ‘How Country Feels’ (2013)
Houser scored his first No. 1 country hit doing what he does best: praising the country lifestyle (while flirting with a girl). “You never rolled in the hay, you never thrown it in four wheel,” he chastises. “Climb up on here, girl / Let me shows you how country feels.” The platinum-selling single has an irresistible hook and is flirty fun the whole way through — and the CMT Breakthrough Video of the Year-winning music video is definitely worth checking out, too.
From ‘Anything Goes’ (2008)
“Boots On” is the second single from Houser’s debut album, Anything Goes, and it quickly became his first Top 5 hit. Like many Houser jams, it’s a full-throated celebration of living a hard-working, hard-partying rural life with “boots on.” As Houser sings in the chorus, “[With] these calloused hands / And a muddy pair of jeans / With that Copenhagen ring / No need to change a thing / Hey, y’all / I’m going out with my boots on.” The music video also features an adorable toddler jamming on a kid-sized guitar and lip-syncing the lyrics, which makes us enjoy the song even more.
From 2016’s ‘Fired Up’
“We Went” is the lead single from Houser’s fourth album, Fired Up, and the album’s most successful song. The track went to the top of the country charts, driven by Houser’s quick lyrical delivery and hard minor power chords. “We Went” is all about living in the moment, with the chorus telling a story about late-night adventures: “We were taillights fading from some blue lights chasing / Cut a path through the corn on Country Road 44 / Tore up a fence, jumped in a ditch, felt so good / We didn’t want it to end / So we went.”
“Like a Cowboy”
From 2013’s ‘How Country Feels’
“Like a Cowboy,” the fourth single from How Country Feels, is a powerful ballad that showcases Houser at his vocal best. There’s a powerful build in the pre-chorus, as Houser sings, “I know this life is crazy / But I’ll be home soon, baby,” before declaring, “I’ll ride in on a sunny day / Sing you a song, steal your heart away / Like a cowboy.” It’s the Houser song most likely to stick in your head for days, and it was a No. 3 hit that is certified gold. “Like a Cowboy” was also nominated for the CMA for Song of the Year.