Randall King has blown up over the last couple of years.
With a steady influx of streams and a rapidly growing fanbase discovering his older music and latching on to the new music he has constantly released, King has begun to experience some mainstream success with his refreshing traditionalist ‘80s and ‘90s country sound.
In 2022, King released his sophomore full-length record Shot Glass to heavy praise from fans and critics alike, and has continued to maintain the momentum with Live at Brooklyn Bowl Nashville and Honky Tonk BS EPs dropping throughout 2022 as well.
With his own unique style and personality, King’s spectacular original music will take you back to that of Keith Whitley or early Tim McGraw, yet is distinctly his own as he continues to blaze his own trail through the Texas and Nashville scenes. King has great taste in music himself, and on top of all of the great originals he has put out, he’s been known to do quite a few covers as well.
As part of a series on his YouTube channel titled The Songs That Built Me, King released five episodes over the span of a few months in 2020 in which he covers some of his favorite songs that have had a major influence on him and his music over the years.
And let me tell ya, there are some bangers on here.
Taking it a step deeper, though, King also provides quite a bit of commentary on when these songs were most important to him in his life and why they continue to inspire him in his career as a musician.
A super personal look into the mind and music taste of Randall King, check out the songs he covered and the accompanying commentary in each episode here:
“I’m gonna take y’all all the way back to where I fell in love with country music.”
“Your Cheatin’ Heart” – Hank Williams (1953)
“Silver Wings” – Merle Haggard – A Portrait of Merle Haggard (1969)
“I’m Over You” – Keith Whitley I Wonder Do You Think of Me (1990)
“This week we’re talking about the second series, which is the reason that I fell in love with playing guitar. They’re some of the first songs I ever learned on guitar.”
“Amarillo By Morning” – George Strait – Strait from the Heart (1982)
“I’ll Fly Away” (Traditional)
“Rocky Top” (Traditional)
“This week I’m talking about songs I was listening to when I was 16 years old driving around in my pickup. For a lot of people, that might be considered an odd era to really shape and develop somebody as an artist, but for me, that time in my life was incredibly important.”
“Wish it Would Break” – Dierks Bentley – Dierks Bentley (2003)
“Tequila Loves Me” – Kenny Chesney – The Road and the Rodeo (2005)
“Why Can’t I Leave Her Alone – George Strait – It Just Comes Natural (2006)
“Good Directions” – Billy Currington – Doin’ Somethin’ Right (2005)
“This week we’re gonna take off with songs that inspired me in college that got me actually into playing music out in the bars and honky tonks. Some of the artists that I saw live that made me fall in love with live shows and wanting to play live music.”
“A Little More Country Than That” – Easton Corbin – Easton Corbin (2010)
“Radio Waves” – Eli Young Band – Jet Black & Jealous (2008)
“Dead or in Jail” – William Clark Green – Rose Queen (2013)
“Songs that are out today that inspire me. They inspire me to be a better artist, better songwriter, a better man.”
“The One You’re Waiting On” – Alan Jackson – Angels and Alcohol (2015)
“Ain’t Always the Cowboy – Jon Pardi – Heartache Medication (2019)
“Hell of a Highway” – Jake Worthington – Hell of a Highway EP (2017)
I wish more artists would do this sort of thing.
It’s really cool to me to hear artists play the songs that have inspired them and even the songs that they are currently listening to and staying inspired by. It just provides fans with an additional layer of understanding and appreciation for their music and sound.
After listening to all of these Randall King covers, I’ll leave you with his most popular original to date, off of his 2022 record Shot Glass, “You iIn A Honky Tonk.”