It’s been three years since country star Randy Houser has assembled an album, but the time has finally come for him to share his reflective work in his new full-length project, Note To Self.
Houser served as a co-writer on all 10 tracks and also co-produced alongside Blake Chancey. He explained that going in, his goal wasn’t to make a throwback album, but instead to compile a list of songs that blended the nostalgic elements of classic country songs with his more modern stylings.
“I wanted to make an album that 18, 19-year-old me would love to put on and crank up in the truck and ride around,” he shared with Country Now. “I wanted to write great songs, have a story to tell, have something to say, and make something fun to listen to, but let the production be honest and serve the song. Not to overdo it, just simple and let the songs talk.”
With his sixth studio album, Houser took a step back to fully evaluate himself and his music. Each track is a memento of his deepest thoughts and a firm grasp on the direction he wanted to take the whole project. It offers a look into Houser’s past and present as he exhibits his candid songwriting through his defined vocals.
“A lot of times, you’ll write and you’ll just have to narrow down from like 50 songs. This album, it felt like it was more pointed towards what I wanted to do from the get-go,” Houser said. “It sort of just happened organically. There was not a lot of decision-making on kicking songs out and all that, not as much as it has been in the past.”
The lead single and title track, “Note To Self,” marked the first taste of new music since Houser’s 2019 album, Magnolia. It continues to climb the charts at Country radio with its contemplative lyrics that are backed by Houser’s honest vocals and mid-tempo melody.
“It points towards a lot of life lessons, and a lot of life things that I’m still learning,” Houser explained. “But during the time that I was making this album, during the pandemic, it was a time of reflection for me. It was the first time that I’d been home more than two or three weeks in many, many years. So it was a time of taking note of the things that I’d gone through and things I’ve done and things I wanted to. So I think, in a way, that represents what the album is.”
The record comes to a close with “Remember How To Pray,” a song that is reminiscent of how Houser ends his daily routine in life.
“I think it’s the perfect way to end an album. I think it’s, you know, just like how you end your day. For me, it’s in Jesus’ name, Amen.”
In addition to “Note To Self,” Houser readied fans for the new collection with the release of songs like “Still That Cowboy,” “Workin’ Man,” “Rub A Little Dirt On It” and his latest, “Country Round Here Tonight.”
According to Houser, his listeners seem to “dig” his “newest song “Country Round Here Tonight,” which he co-wrote alongside Brice Long and Jeff Hyde. It serves as a reminder of his early career and how far he’s come since the days of having to haul his own equipment between small bars in Mississippi.
“Watching that line of cars come in the evening after I’d worked so hard getting all the stuff sound checked, that was my weekends after I’d worked hard all week. But the payoff for me was to get to watch everybody come in and have a great time and that song really takes me back to those years.”
This project comes just less than two months after he and his wife Tatiana welcomed another member to their family, Harlan “Banks” Houser. The couple took to social media to announce the news that their son, Huckleberry, officially became a big brother after Harlan was born on September 21, 2022.
“We’ve got two awesome boys and, you know, Huckleberry took to his little brother,” Houser stated. “He’s a great big brother and just kind of understands what’s going on here. I spent a lot of time with Huck, making sure that he knew he was gonna have to teach his little brother everything. So it’s been a good deal.”
Their growing household means that Houser is now a father two his two boys with Tatiana, and his 10-year-old son, West, from a previous relationship.
He continued, “I can’t wait for the holidays when I can be home. It’s been a crazy year, but that’s what I want for Christmas is just that time with my family.”
Even though he has his hands full, balancing his dad duties with his busy artist life of touring and making new music, Houser still manages to uphold his responsibilities as a parent, and that includes appreciating the small moments in life. He shared that Huckleberry has already caught the music bug and although he’s only 3 years old, he already has an understanding for his dad’s passion and has even taken it upon himself to memorize the names of each of Houser’s guitars.
“He’s got a really cool musical taste” Houser said of Huck. “He gravitates towards real country stuff, like his first favorite song was ‘Chattahoochee.’ It was all about Alan Jackson, but he loves the album. He knows most of the songs on the album because he was a baby crawling around, running around here while I was making this album. So he’s heard it so much and he’s still loves everything.”
That being said, Houser isn’t taking all the credit for keeping things in check around the house. He also commends his wife for stepping up as both parents when he has to be away on the road.
“I mean, no lie, it’s been completely off balance,” he said honestly. “We’ve had a crazy tour year and I can’t take the credit for any of it, to be honest. My wife, she’s a badass. She gets that I have to go to work and she supports a million percent, but when I’m home, I’m home and I give them everything I got. Like I said, I can’t wait to be home for the holidays and just kind of really get in it because, it’s been literally, I’ve lived out of a suitcase. I throw my stuff in the washer, throw it back in my suitcase, and we’re gone again and that’s tough to leave them, but you know, a lot of dads have to go to work.”
He added, “She’s a good mom. I can’t say how proud of her I am, I can’t express it, I just tell her.”
Randy Houser is ready to take his new music onto the road with him as he continues as support on Cody Johnson’s fall tour. The trek kicked off August 8 in Albany, NY and is set to run through the beginning of December when it will momentarily wrap in Tulsa, OK. Houser and Johnson will pick things back up again in the new year for the extended leg of the tour.