Modern country music has seen an influx of talented new artists who have shaken up the business. Randy Houser is one of these artists and after releasing a soul-stirring ballad called “Anything Goes,” the artist came back with the rockin’ party anthem “Boots On” which just missed being a #1 hit. Now nominated for Best New Artist for the 43rd CMA Awards (along with a Video of the Year nomination for “Boots On”), Randy and his label have seemingly punted the Anything Goes album after only two singles with the release of “Whistlin’ Dixie,” the first single off of his upcoming sophomore album.
Randy’s never going to outrun the the vocal comparisons to Ronnie Dunn so rather than try to do that, it seems as if “Whistlin’ Dixie” attacks the comparison head-on with a likable southern rock track that is completely about squeezing all that you can out of life while you’re living it. While the lyrics are somewhat similar to other ‘proud and loud’ country songs, Randy Houser’s spectacular voice shines here as he’s truly one of the few country artists that can sing at the volume that “Whistlin’ Dixie” is set at. The melody of the song is falls somewhere in between the greasy southern rock from Lynyrd Skynyrd (It would be completely home on the group’s new album God and Guns) and the bluesy rock of Delbert McClinton.
While traditionalists will likely point to “Whistlin’ Dixie” (along with Jason Aldean’s “She’s Country”) as but another song that is “taking the country out of country music,” I still find it very hard to not like Whistlin’ Dixie. Is this single the best song ever? No, it isn’t but there are many more songs out in the marketplace that are far, far, far worse than “Whistlin’ Dixie.”