“Like A Cowboy” Randy Houser rode into Charles Town, W.Va., at the recently opened Event Center at Hollywood Casino Saturday night and the crowd in the 1,200-seat theater was ready. Houser bounded on to the stage wearing black jeans, a vest and blue collared shirt with his sleeves rolled up for a night of high-energy singing and guitar picking.
He opened with his No. 2 chart-topping song from 2009, “Boots On” and followed it with “Growin’ Younger.” He then broke from the set list to sing a song some “friends” asked him to perform Saturday night, “Anything Goes,” the lead single from his debut album way back in 2007. “Boots On” was the second single release from that album.
Houser thanked “West-by-God-Virginia” for turning out for the show and noted he played a lot of fairs and festivals there over the years. He then played a song from his “They Call Me Cadillac” album — “Low Down and Lonesome” and crowd favorite “Goodnight Kiss,” from his third studio album “How Country Feels” (which he also sang). “Goodnight Kiss” was his first No. 1 song as a songwriter, “How Country Feels” was his first No. 1 as a singer.
With his fourth studio album well underway, Houser played a few songs from that project, “That’s How You Make Love” and “the mighty Whiskey-sippi River,” not sure what it’s title is but you’ll know it when you hear it. He said the Charles Town show was the first time he and his band played that in a show.
Houser invited the audience to move on down to stage front for the rest of the show — and, yep, we did. The crowd was pumped up by singing with Houser on “Friends in Low Places,” (recorded by Garth Brooks) and Houser’s current chart-topping single “Like A Cowboy.”
By then the down-front crowd was wound up for the rest of the show. Houser came back for a one-song encore and took several minutes to shake hands with fans in the audience.
Singer, songwriter AND performer — Houser gave an awesome show without a lot of theatrics, props or whatever other extras some artists use. A powerful voice, great songs and backed by his band, no doubt Houser was in the house.
You can read my pre-concert interview with Randy Houser in the Feb. 5 edition of 72 Hours, at www.frederickplaylist.com and right here at Three Chords and the Truth.