Minden, Nevada, is 4,724 feet closer to Heaven than the flatlands, and Johnny Cash must have been directing traffic Thursday night when the country faithful gathered at TJ’s Corral for the final concert of the season.
Randy Houser was in the driver’s seat for 75 minutes, delivering some new country and giving a nod to the old-school stars in the sky.
In an opening video sequence, the wisdom of the Man in Black rang true. (He shot a man in Reno and caught a case of the Folsom Prison Blues). Then Houser was off and running, opening with “We Went” and speeding off in a black Pontiac full of cash, tail lights and blue lights leaving a trail.
Clearly “Fired Up,” Houser pumped out that signature, self-titled song from his new album, one of several tunes from the newest work that he shared with fans, including “Lucky Me,” “Whiskeysippi River” and “Chasing Down A Good Time.”
He made sure an estimated 1,400 folks knew “How Country Feels,” and asked to be certain: “How the hell are y’all doing? This is badass for a Thursday night. Thank y’all for having us.”
Houser got up close and personal with the audience, as a runway led from the stage into the party pit. From the wings, it almost appeared as the singer was floating above the crowd, which whipped the air with appreciative cowboy hats.
Fans helped out with backup vocals for “Like A Cowboy,” while Houser strummed an acoustic guitar. He also included the familiar songs “Boots On” and “Goodnight Kiss.”
The country crooner covered a Maren Morris song, “My Church,” in which the church serves as a metaphor for finding solace in absorbing the radio preachings of Johnny Cash and Hank Williams while driving down the highway.
In the end, Houser was “Runnin’ Outta Moonlight” and had to hit the highway himself to rejoin Dierks Bentley for concerts in California. First, though, he admitted being “A Little Bit Older” (and a little Budweiser).
“Whoa.” TJ’s Corral buttoned up the barn until next summer after a stellar concert season had shaded down.
- Randy Houser
Sept. 8, 2016
TJ’s Corral, Carson Valley Inn
- We Went
- Fired Up
- How Country Feels
- Lucky Me
- My Church (Maren Morris cover)
- Goodnight Kiss
- Boots On
- Whiskeysippi River
- Like A Cowboy
- Chasing Down A Good Time
- A Little Bit Older
- Runnin’ Outta Moonlight