It is not surprising that Colt Ford has taken country music by storm. He has a catchy new genre of music that we consider a mix of country, rock, and hip-hop blended with southern rap lyrics. His tunes are extremely entertaining and hit home, even for those who never really got into the rap scene. Ford has also made his mark on the mud and off-road scene with concerts at major mud events and as host of Mud Slingers on the Outdoor Channel. Colt's Georgia roots have helped him create songs like "Dirt Road Anthem" and "Drivin' Around Song" with Jason Aldean and have increased his popularity. His "Drivin' Around Song" is everything American, especially for those who call a small town home—it touches many parts of our lives.
Some have coined the term hick-hop to describe Ford's music and the music of other artists like him. We take that term lightheartedly, as a fun way to describe his music. Ford's debut album, Ride Through the Country, was released in 2008 and made it onto Billboard's top 10 charts. The album was released on Average Joes Entertainment label and was reissued this fall to mark the label's fifth anniversary. Ford ramped up his star power on the reissued album and joined with several high-profile country artists like Wynonna, Ronnie Dunn, Joe Diffie, John Anderson, The LACS, and Charlie Daniels. Ford's fourth album, Declaration of Independence, debuted at number one on Billboard when it was released in August 2012 and has remained on Billboard's country album charts for over 63 weeks. Ford has sold over a million albums and millions more in downloads.
Ford is a man of many talents. The former golf pro held his 2nd Annual Colt Ford & Friends Celebrity Golf Classic, which benefitted St. Jude's. Now, we can't help but mention that Ford is getting' so big that he even has his own flavor, a southern-style sweet tea, of Knuckle Energy drink. As lovers of sweet tea, we tried a can of the stuff. It tasted great. This fall he also started a 32-city tour as a special guest on the Florida Georgia Line tour.
Recently we had a chance to ask Ford a few questions and get to know him a little better. What we found is a warm-hearted great guy who loves life and makin' music.
Mud Life: We are huge fans. Your "Drivin' Around Song" with Jason Aldean really hit home with us, as we are sure it did a lot of other people. It reminds us of the small towns we live in, moved away from, and visit. Listening to the song brings back a wave of emotions, great memories, and a feeling of pride for those folks who still drive down the two-lane Main Streets. Is there a personal meaning behind the song for you?
Colt Ford: Well, that song hits home for me like y'all. I can remember loading up with too many folks riding from one end of town to the other. I wish we still had more of those towns.
ML: You have a number of hits on the radio. Can you tell us a something about the moment when you decided to jump from a PGA golf pro to a country music star?
CF: I wish I had more on the radio. I would love to have a song on the charts. I have never had a song on the Top 40 chart. I have two number-one songs that I wrote, but never one that I performed. I always played music and golf just to pay the bills. I just wanted to try music one more time, and I got lucky that a bunch of country folks liked it.
ML: If you had a word of advice for all the kids driving pop's farm truck around town Friday and Saturday nights, what would it be?
CF: Be proud to be a country kid.
ML: Your first album, Ride Though the County, was a major hit and has recently been reissued. How does it feel to be working with folks like Ronnie Dunn, Joe Diffie, and John Anderson and the other major artists who have lined up to join you in the reissued album?
CF: I'm so excited about redoing these songs with all these legendary artists. It is such an honor to have them be a part of Ride Through the Country Revisited.
ML: You're a busy man, Colt. We feel lucky we were able to pin you down for this interview. You're out on a 32-city tour this fall as a special guest on the Florida Georgia Line tour. How do you cope with being away from home so long, and what's life on the road like for you?
CF: It is hard being on the road so much, but I have had to build my music a different way. It has been a tougher road to follow, but it's been really special. I have true fans, I call them friends.
ML: You're from Athens, Georgia. Tell us what small-town life was like growing up.
CF: Yea, Athens is a great town. I love it. My dad is from Hartwell, Georgia, and that is sho nuff small town. That is “Drivin' Around Song” at its best.
ML: Do you have one small-town memory that stands out the most, one that brings you home no matter where you are?
CF: I have so many it would be impossible to name one.
ML: Given our lifestyle at Mud Life magazine, we just have to ask: Are you a Chevy, Ford, Dodge, GM, or Jeep man, or perhaps a fan them all? What kind of vehicles/trucks do you own now, and what was your first?
CF: I really love them all. I love trucks and cars. I have a Suburban lifted and tricked out. I need the room for all the kids and baseball gear.
ML: A lot of people have major stage fright, but we assume you donht because of your pro golf tour experience. Perhaps you're a natural on stage. Tell us what it was like the first time you went on stage and belted out a song in front of a crowd.
CF: There is nothing like being on stage. You can't describe that feeling. I don't get scared—I get excited and anxious, just ready to play. I love with all my heart playing live music.
ML: If you had to name one country music star who gave you the inspiration to jump on stage, who would it be?
CF: There are too many to name. I love music so much I am a fan of so many artists.
ML: When you aren't out touring, what do you do for fun and entertainment?
CF: I love to hunt and fish and play some golf, and watch my son play baseball.
ML: The 2nd Annual Colt Ford & Friends Celebrity Golf Classic, benefitting St. Jude's and took place in September. Can you tell us about the golf classic and the your foundation?
CF: It makes sense for me to do something with golf and music, and it is amazing to have so many of my music buddies and my PGA tour players come play. I believe in giving back. It is very Important to do that.
ML: What's the future look like for Colt Ford? Long-term goals and aspirations?
CF: I just wanna keep making music that the fans like. That's all I wanna do.
ML: How did you like hosting Mud Slingers on the Outdoor channel? Will we see a season two?
CF: I loved doing the show. We had a blast, and it was a chance to show the world the mud life we all love. I'd love to do season two if it goes back into production. I would really like to do another show about the lifestyle.
ML: What's a favorite mud event that you have attended? How much muddin' have you done?
CF: They are all different for different reasons, and I love them all. I don't get to do as much as I want to. There never seems to be enough time.
ML: What's your favorite food, BBQ, and beverage?
CF: I like all kinds of food. You can't look like this without loving food. LOL. I love sweet tea.
ML: Your music is extremely popular, and we hear your songs on some of the mainstream country stations, but we don't hear as much of your genre as we would like. Why do you think they are slow to play this type of music?
CF: I don't know why. I wish I could be heard more. I feel like I have paid my dues, and I truly want to be a part of radio, but all I can do is make the best songs I can make. I am blessed to play music and that folks like it.