If you follow the Texas scene at all, you’ll be familiar with a young gun who is quickly making a name for himself. That honky ’tonkin cowboy is Randall King and he is someone that should be paid very close attention to if you like some real solid boot stompin’ country. He’s the real deal.
After hearing “Hard Livin’ Illene” featuring the incredible talent, Cleto Cordero of Flatland Calvary, I was damn near sold. This guy’s got one heck of a voice and a deep appreciation for the way country is supposed to me. I heard the infectious upbeat delivery on this song and couldn’t help but notice how it was made up a very country sound. Being in my mid- twenties (like many of these artists) it’s refreshing to hear these guys creating a sound that can be fun but also something you aren’t afraid to crank. When you leave mainstream country, you realize that it IS possible to create a marketable, higher octane sound without throwing away the very classic parts of country.
Throughout much of Randall King’s music, you’ll find fiddle, classic country guitar riffs, pedal steel and good ole fashioned heart. “Smokin’ Cigarettes” is a song about heartbreak that returns us to the way country used to be. A story that you can follow along with as he describes how there’s no one there to stop him from touching the things he knows he should not. His somber tone hit me as you really can feel the hurt and heartbreak in voice after she left. It’s a track, like much of his music, that is memorable and real.
Tunes like “The Problem” bring me back to when I first got into country music and would hear similar songs by some of my favorites like Alan Jackson. The guitar is not the main instrument in this song, rather it’s the wonderfully balanced harmonies of a full band. The fiddle solos after the electric guitar and they go back and forth, even slowing it right down at one point before building back up full speed. This exhibits the care and appreciation that an artist has for true country. Not every song needs to be sad or slow but when it’s a boot stomper like “The Problem, I prefer mine with less bro and more ‘twang. My appetite was satisfied.
When you find yourself thumbing mindlessly through social media, take a look at his posts. On Tuesdays, you can find him on his “Tip The Hat Tuesday” videos where he sings a song by an artist that influences him. When someone can make a simple video post with just an acoustic guitar and sing like he does, you know he’s got real ability. His voice is impressive to say the least.
I keep my eyes on a lot of artists like King because they are setting themselves up to be the future stars of Texas Country - and perhaps beyond. I am very hopeful for the talent that Randall possess and I really would like to see some new music from him as I’ve well worn out the current offerings. He has been getting some great experience with William Clark Green and Cody Johnson during the festivals this year so far. As two respectable acts themselves, they obviously see the dedication and commitment to quality music Randall has. I can’t recommend this guy enough and you’re getting a front seat watching his career take off. It’s gonna be good.
Just a Massachusetts guy supporting Texas and other independent country/Americana artists.
Check out my spotify for good tunes!