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Randy Houser Puts Mississippi in the Movies With ‘Magnolia’

New feature-length film puts a visual twist on his latest album.

Written by Chris Parton
Randy Houser Puts Mississippi in the Movies With ‘Magnolia’
BBR Music Group Randy Houser performs at the Firestone Country Roads Stage at Ascend Amphitheater on Thursday, June 6 during the 2019 CMA Music Festival in downtown Nashville. Photo courtesy of CMA

Forget a three-minute video shot on a picture perfect countryside vista. Randy Houser had different plans for his latest album, Magnolia… like an entire movie based on the project, which is out now.

Also titled Magnolia, the film is centered around a small group of oil rig workers and set in Randy’s home state of Mississippi. It follows two characters, Ana and Noah, stuck in the midst of an intensely chaotic and unexpected relationship after Noah returns home to the Gulf Coast. He’s forced to confront his past while also being pushed to figure out his future — a proposition which is easier said than done — and Houser plays a local bartender and singer at the town dive.

The feature-length film takes viewers deep inside the world Houser imagined while he was co-writing every song on the album, and finds Houser performing several songs off the dark, moody standout like “No Stone Unturned”and “What Whiskey Does” (featuring Hillary Lindsey). Directed by Justin Nolan Key and executive produced by Houser, it’s definitely an ambitious alternative to the traditional music video.

“After the album was complete, we were discussing plans for music videos and I wanted to make sure to visually tell the story of each song while keeping the feel of Magnolia still intact—because it has a mood to it,” Houser explains in a statement. “We created a film instead of dicing up the album into fragmented music videos so people could take in the music of the album in one sitting and digest it as one body of work, as it was intended.”

Magnolia (the film) can be found on digital platforms now, and will also be aired on CMT soon. Houser is currently on tour, with dates lined up from Texas to Boston through December 12.