Country Music People December 2018 - Page 20

RANDALL KING had a cult following with only one ep release behind him. this year’s full length album sees him become a major player on the texas scene. by ALEX ROSSI D espite only having released one EP and one full-length album Randall King seems to have been around for years. Maybe it’s that his sound is so steeped in the West Texas Plains from which he hails, maybe because the tradition runs deep in the singer raised on a diet of Keith Whitley, George Strait, Randy Travis and Alan Jackson, or maybe it’s just that real heartfelt country music is timeless. Just one listen to one of the best songs this year, Mirror Mirror, from King’s eponymous debut, and it’s immediately obvious that any of his heroes would have been delighted to wrap their tonsils around it. The song (also a single and video) is both instant and classic, and the singer scoffs at the suggestion that it’s too country for country radio. “You never know, man. If that song blows up it could be on national radio.” Recalling writing it, King adds, “You know, its really funny, I wrote that song with a couple of friends of mine back in Texas, and I hadn’t worked it up with a full band at all, it was still kinda getting polished. I loved, loved, the song, and I didn’t really think it would work. It’s that old-school country lower key, and my manager… we opened for Cody Johnson up north… and my manager was there and he goes, ‘Hey man, i think you should start working Mirror Mirror into your set. Your set’s missing it.’ So we worked it up, and we were playing it probably for about eight months before the record even came out and that is the one song that wasn’t even recorded anywhere and we had fans singing it every night.” Another standout track from King’s album is Reasons To Quit which is about cherishing and holding on to love. King describes it as, “Very Randy Travis,” and the song epitomises everything that’s great about country music in one package. 20 cmp - DECEMBER 2018 King continues, “When I produced that song on the record I wanted to take it up, so we did some bluegrass stuff to it. there’s some Dobro on it, and I love that song. I wrote that song with Bobby Terry who played all the steel parts and about seventy percent of all the guitar parts on my record. We wrote that song and he played every single instrument on that track. It’s an incredible song but I didn’t think it really meant as much to me as it did until my grandmother called me and said, ‘I love that song’ and then I realised that basically that my grandmother was the character in the song. We lost my pawpaw a year and a half ago and they were married for 65 years. So after 65 years of marriage that’s a lot of love, that’s a lot of little things that connect and make that relationship special. She was still doing things on her everyday routine as if my grandpa was still there.” Randall King’s star is rising pretty quickly. With only an EP behind him he began playing live and built up something of a cult following. “We toured for two years on five songs,” he laughs, “and with those five songs I was able to get several things. I was able to get my management, my booking agency, and we built a pretty decent fan-base just off the EP for two years. It’s jumped up a lot and it’s been three, three and a half years, and it’s not a bad boat, man. There’s still a lot of work to do and there’s still a lot of fans to gain but we’ve been putting in the work and it’s starting to show.” King is quick to credit ‘his team’ in getting him to where he is today, and indeed, his notoriety on the Texas scene is impressive after so few releases. “I have an incredible team behind me. From my management company to my booking agent, we attack certain markets via radio play and they would put me in the best positions as far as