Colt Ford is a little bit rap, rock and hip-hop, but if you ask him, he’s 100 percent country.
“Most people listen to all kinds of stuff. They don’t just listen to one thing,” said Ford, aka former pro golfer Jason Farris Brown, whose music is often lumped under the umbrella of so-called hick-hop — country music’s answer to urban music’s hip-hop.
But Ford is quick to note he is not the innovator of incorporating spoken word into country music — he’ll suggest you look back at groundbreakers C.W. McCall, Jerry Reed, Charlie Daniels, or, more recently, Toby Keith (“I Wanna Talk About Me”) — nor is he its leading man, even though by his count he’s sold more records than many of his Music City colleagues. His latest single, “Driving Around Song” with Jason Aldean is nearing gold sales (500,000 downloads).
But Ford, 43, earns bonus points for taking his spoken word country beyond the genre’s fringes. He’s recorded with artists such as country stars Eric Church, Jake Owen and JJ Lawhorn alongside hip-hop/pop stars including DMC (of Run DMC fame), Boys II Men and Nappy Roots.
“Every record I normally do something with someone who is not country,” said Ford, the father of three who gave up professional golf several years ago and launched his own record label. “I think that’s what makes it fun, and I’ve been lucky that some of those artists have been kind enough to lend their amazing talent to what I do. That’s very humbling. I’m on a little, small independent label. I don’t have major money or nothing like that.”
On Sunday, Ford makes his first appearance at Country Thunder, opening for buddy and headliner Aldean. Ford and Aldean also worked together in 2010 when Aldean recorded Ford and Brantley Gilbert’s “Dirt Road Anthem” on his triple platinum album “My Kinda Party.”
Will the two team up at some point Sunday night?
“I’m sure at some point you will see both of us on stage together,” Ford said. “He’s a phenomenal artist. He’s a friend of mine and I was excited to see ‘Dirt Road Anthem’ be one of the biggest songs of his career.”
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