Colt Ford, onstage, will rap Ludacris and The Black Eyed Peas songs when he stops the show.
“It’s a country show,” he says. “These people don’t want to hear that!”
Of course, the crowd goes crazy. It’s a myth that country fans are musically myopic. They just want to have a good time, and country artists know it. Rascal Flatts plays Boston live, Big & Rich plays Ludacris’ “What’s Your Fantasy” – heck, even Rodney Carrington has done “Purple Rain.”
Which makes Colt Ford a natural match for this audience. He was originally groomed to be a Bubba Sparxxx – a white, Southern rapper on Jermaine Dupri’s label. Now he’s a country artist who still raps but hobnobs and writes songs with badasses like Jamey Johnson.
Looks like the execs on Music Row who said they didn’t know how to “sell” him to radio missed an opportunity. Ford tried to go country the old-fashioned way, but eventually did it on his own – he put his own band together, created his own label and now he’s pulling in crowds in the thousands.
Colt’s show isn’t a gimmick; he’s not putting on a persona and there are no flying monkeys. In his own words, “We flat-out hit the accelerator at the downbeat and it doesn’t stop till we get done.”
At one point in his shows, Colt will turn to his drummer, Rick Brothers.
“You’re always complaining about not being in the spotlight,” Ford says. “Why don’t you sing a song?”
Brothers, who used to drum for Gretchen Wilson, plays along. He says that’s fine but somebody will need to play drums for him.
Well, guess who that is. Ford – country singer, songwriter, rapper and golf pro – counts off the song. It’s KISS.
And that’s why the show is called the “Colt Ford Experience” – it’s just a fun time, and it’s the foundation for country’s newest rising star.
“Honestly, I’d put this show up against anyone,” Ford told Pollstar. “I’m not talking ’bout people who have millions of dollars in video screens, ’cause I don’t have that. But you gotta get out there and play music and flat get after it. I’ll play with anybody. I’m not scared of none of ’em.”
Ford is definitely a sum of his parts. His first foray into a musical career may not have panned out but it is an integral part of his latest music. He’s also made connections through golf, being that he used to be on the National Tour and still teaches the game.
It hasn’t been easy. Along the way he’s had differences with management companies and agencies. Radio couldn’t find him with a Geiger counter. Instead, he found Ken Madson, who can manage Nappy Roots and Josh Gracin, and a passionate agent in Kevin Neal. And, somehow, Ford got veteran musicians to buy into him – a golfing, hunting, rapping, country-singing family man.