Son of a Common Man
Historically, country music has always been about the country, hence the name, and the common man who worked hard to make a living from it. It's heroes were simple folk. They drove pickups, not Porsches, drank beer, not martinis, worked outside, not in a high rise. They worked hard, got married, most stayed married and they raised their kids to still say 'Yes, sir' and 'No, ma'am'. And, they liked to kick back with their good friends after a long day, actually watch the sun go down and pick a little guitar. Somewhere along the way, country music began to change. It lost the ways of the common man. Maybe it was because those who were not from the country, admired it's simplicity and honesty and wanted to adopt it's lifestyle. Or maybe it was just man changing the course of nature. Boots became fancier and never got dirty, jeans got tighter, way too tight to actually work in, and the music became more focused on what sells and not on what really is. But, now there is a new troubadour for the common man, Brian Houser. His roots grew deep in the country where he was raised in the rural Missouri countryside, just south of the city near the town of Antonia. The youngest of four children born to Brant and Jane Houser, Brian grew up in a small house that his parents actually built with their own hands. With none of the modern electronic conveniences of today to amuse their children, Brant and Jane encouraged them to be interested in music and always had a wealth of instruments around the house while the children were growing up. This opportunity for musical exploration, combined with the musical interests of his older brother Doug, were to be the seeds that later would germinate into a musical career for Brian. Initially, he started learning to play the banjo in his early high school years but quickly switched to guitar when he discovered that bluegrass music, although fun, was not as expressive as some of the new artists that country music was spawning at that time. Brian's outside music influences were deep-seated in the 70's. In 1975, Brian's brother took him to a Kris Kristofferson concert. This event was a turning point musically for Brian as he finally found a form of country music that spoke openly, honestly, and artistically about life and living. This would open the door to other legendary favorites, most notably Willie Nelson, and Johnny Cash. The next big musical turning point was when Brian moved to Texas in 1977 and started his first band in San Antonio. It was really a coming home of sorts as Texas, his other true love, is where many generations of Housers were born including his father, grandfather, and great-grandfather. And, the strong Texas heritage of the common man greatly influenced his future songwriting. A carpenter by trade, music has always been a form of release and celebration for Brian. Usually every performance has been preceded by at least a forty-hour workweek and singing from a working man's perspective fits his core belief that country music should be a true reflection of common people and their lives. In 1998, Brian Houser released his first CD, the critically acclaimed 'Never Look Back'. It was produced at the demand of his loyal followers in his hometown of Denton, Texas and documents his emotions of a failed 10- year marriage. The attention garnished by this work led to performances with Jerry Jeff Walker, Robert Keen and, most notably, Willie Nelson. However, Brian still prefers the smaller venues where he can talk easily with the crowd. Although his music has taken him to such far away places as Italy and Guam to perform, Brian remains firmly rooted in Denton among the strong support of the local people and the student population of the two universities that grace the town. Son of a Common Man was released in October 2001and a fellow Texan, the legendary Lloyd Maines, produced it. All the work is original songs, reflecting Brian's long-standing Texas heritage and his connection with the common man that was the early foundation of country music. The title cut, Son of a Common Man, as well as other songs like Song of the Workingman, County Line Road, Stranger in This Town and Last of the Outlaws take country music back to it's original roots, a time when life's pursuits were not about making everything easier and when man did not change the course of nature, but nature changed the course of man.