Randy Houser's single "Like a Cowboy" is a big, Western ballad tucked between amped-up country-rock or pop songs. It stands out like rhinestones on a cowboy standing outside the Eiffel Tower in Paris, and the singer is comfortable with that. In fact, few may be more comfortable with that.

Houser tells Taste of Country his song is about striking a balance. He relates to Jake Owen, who says fans and songwriters have come up to him with words of gratitude since his ballad "What We Ain't Got" began its slow climb up the charts.

I mean obviously yeah, it was a risk. But I never … I’ve had so many songs fail at radio over the years that it doesn’t really scare me.

"There needs to be a balance," Houser says. "I love the progressive sounding new stuff. That’s what music’s about. It’s always going to evolve … but it’s fun to lay it back for just a minute every now and then and have a song that makes you stop and think.”

Houser began his career with a similarly powerful ballad. "Anything Goes" cracked the Top 20 in 2008, and the Mississippi-bred vocalist was immediately hailed as the next Ronnie Dunn. Two labels and two albums later he's once again enjoying radio success, but it's mostly been with uptempo country love songs. "Like a Cowboy" was ... different.

“I mean obviously, yeah, it was a risk," Houser says. "But I never … I’ve had so many songs fail at radio over the years that it doesn’t really scare me.”

There was actually one ballad in between "Anything Goes" and "Like a Cowboy." "In God's Time" was never released on an album, and arguably never released to radio. Okay, it was ,but there wasn't much promotional support for it. But like his current Top 5 single, it's a song he needed to release.

“I felt like it was something I wrote that I needed to say at the time," Houser explains. "I know it wasn’t a huge radio single, but it was ‘Hey it needs to be said and if it gets somewhere it does. And if it doesn’t, so be it.’”

Looking ahead the 39-year-old father to West says there will be more vocal power on his upcoming fourth studio album. He's cutting songs now and plans to release a new single not long after "Like a Cowboy" peaks on the radio charts. Perhaps he'll preview a song or two while touring with Luke Bryan this spring and summer.

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