Tuesday, August 4, 2009

America Loves The Funny, Fat White Dude

I may be a bit late to the party, but count me among Colt Ford's fans. I talked to Ford, who was on vacation with his family at Disney World, last week. I was impressed with him on a lot of levels—his work ethic and his ability to keep his ego in check, chief among them.

"Most country folks sing, but I couldn't so I'm rapping." That's a lyric from the title cut of Ford's album, "Ride Through The Country," which was released late last year on his own Average Joes Entertainment, but is gaining momentum thanks to his heavy touring schedule alone and with artists like Montgomery Gentry and Jason Aldean.

An intriguing amalgam of country lyrics laced with hip-hop beats, the album is faring well on Billboard's Top Country Albums chart. The sales ostensibly come thanks to heavy touring—Ford will do 200-plus dates this year—and not because of scattered radio airplay for the title cut/single, which features country star John Michael Montgomery. That's an interesting twist in a genre that is still heavily reliant on radio play.

"For whatever reason, America loves the funny, fat white dude and I'm in that category," Ford told me. "I'm just a 300-pound country boy who shops at Wal-Mart. I'm not singing a three-minute love song, but people like what I do."

There's another reason to like Ford. He's self-deprecating. That always scores points with me. "I like people," he says. "I’m not one of those introverted artists that likes to be deep and all that bullshit. It’s not brain surgery. It’s supposed to be fun. It ain’t diggin a ditch."

A country fan growing up, Ford later gravitated toward R&B and hip-hop. He eventually recorded an album with producer Jermaine Dupri (Mariah Carey, Usher) that never saw the light of day. "I'm glad it worked out the way it did," Ford says. "I might have made a million dollars, but it wouldn't have been authentic. At the end of the day, that's what music is about."

Despite his hip-hop leanings, Ford, a former professional golfer, describes himself as a country singer. "I hate the term 'country rap,' " he says. "It throws people off." What Ford does is more closely linked to the Charlie Daniels Band's "Devil Went Down To Georgia," which he performs in his shows. "That's what I do," he says.

Call him the liason between the Grand Ole Opry and BET. Ford's album includes guest performances by Jamey Johnson, Adrian Young of No Doubt, Jeremy Popoff of Lit, Bone Crusher, Attitude and Brantley Gilbert.

Who else does that? No one, which is another reason to love Colt Ford.

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1 comment:

  1. The reason you havn't had any comments before me is you forgot your mantra from your previous post. I.E. you forgot to include some tid-bit of information on Taylor Swift. I trust a few more of these posts with lackluster response will soon recall you to your previous pinnacle of Swiftian journalism, which will return your blog to its preeminent place in online music blogging.