CNI Sessions: Brian Houston

The singer/songwriter talks about his influences and plays a track from his new album, Three Feet From Gold. Click Play Audio to listen 

Having just returned from a full UK tour and with the first single 'Oranges' already picking up airplay, Brian Houston is set to release his brand new album Three Feet From Gold .

The new record emerged from a low point in Houston's career when he doubted if he should continue with his musical ambitions. 'I think there's a time when you've been doing gigs and making records for a long time, and you begin to wonder,' said Houston. 'I had started to think, 'maybe there's a different direction I should go in'.'

The singer/songwriter persevered after hearing a tale about a family of gold prospectors who had abandoned their search shortly before an archaeologist unearthed gold in the field they had been working in.

'It came from this guy who I met in a bar in Austen, Texas. When I was talking to him I was pretty depressed, and he went away and wrote a song for me called 'Three Feet From Gold'.
It was about me, and when he played me this song he was saying don't give up.' It was the encouragement Houston needed, the song lending itself to the title of the album.

This record is something of a departure for Houston, who admits that the quick, concise songwriting style of Elvis and Buddy Holly, amongst others, influence the feel and tone of the album.

'For years I buried my influences - it's never been cool to say you're influenced by Elvis,' he confesses. 'But I followed Elvis through into BB King and the roots of the blues a wee bit, and then in other directions. I kind of got into slightly more gospelly music, and eventually found myself drifting into the Beatles.'

Throw in a mix of doo-wop, celtic soul and blue-collar Americana, and with the amps cranked up to 11, Three Feet From Gold is the most arresting Brian Houston album to date.

'In some respects the album is far more rocky and pop than anything I've done before,' Houston admits.

'I've found that the wonder of music is that you can tap into something and begin to mine that. I feel like I've walked into an Aladdin's cave - that's where I am now [listening to the likes of] Tom Petty at the moment.'

The first single from Three Feet From Gold, 'Oranges' was requested by and has already received airplay on the Aled Jones, Good Morning Sunday Show on BBC Radio 2 and more live sessions are scheduled for the adventurous songwriter across Ireland and the UK.