Randy

Randy Houser arrives at the 44th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards in Las Vegas April 5, 2009. REUTERS/Steve Marcus

Randy Houser is on top of the world. His second single, Boots On, is No. 4 on Billboard's Hot Country Songs chart after 27 weeks on the tally. In the meantime, he's preparing to tour with longtime pal and fellow rising star Jamey Johnson to co-headline CMT on Tour '09.

Houser is also the only new male artist to reach the top five on Hot Country Songs in 2009. It's hard to believe that as a new artist I've got one that far up there, he says.

Houser's debut single, Anything Goes, reached No. 16 in late 2008. His Universal Records South album of the same name was released in November and has sold 100,000 copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

After all the years of scratching and fighting and trying to make a living, people are actually getting to hear my music, the Mississippian says. I've been playing this song for five years, and just in the last two months to watch what's happened is incredible. There's definitely a lot more people coming to the shows.

The tour with Johnson, launching in October, will cover 30 markets including New York, Los Angeles, San Diego, Las Vegas and Portland, Ore. Playing together has been a longtime goal for Houser and Johnson, who once shared a writer's room dubbed the Traler Park. (The spelling stuck when someone misspelled trailer on a sign for the pair's office door.)

We always said if we ever got in a position to be able to draw people in across the country, we were going to do it, Houser says of the tour.

The two singer-songwriters plan to take a novel approach during their concert run. I might do two songs and then take a break, Houser says. And he'll do two or three songs and then I'll come back. We're going to have two bands onstage basically the whole time. Houser also notes that both bands will know his and Johnson's material.

It's just going to be a night of music, he adds. It's what we used to do back in the day.