With his second album launching tomorrow, Colt Ford took some time out to talk to Country Music Pride, about life, music and everything in-between. Staying true to his roots while he reinvents a new sound in a city that can be stubborn with its rules, Colt Ford brings fresh insights and enthusiasm to the greatest music in the world. Enjoy some old-fashioned Georgia hospitality and get you some Chicken and Biscuits right here.
CMP: How was the show in Eclectic last night?
CF: Eclectic was one of the muddiest, dirtiest places I’ve ever seen – it was a bunch of fun. It was in a mud bog and you know they turned away about 1,500 people. They had about 6,900 people there, it was crazy. Those mud bogs are just – a lot of people don’t understand that haven’t played ‘em, it’s pretty crazy.
CMP: April 23 you play in Vienna, Georgia with Rhett Akins. Rhett was really involved in Chicken and Biscuits. Tell me about your friendship with Rhett. How and when did you two meet?
CF: I’ve known Rhett for quite a while. He grew up in Georgia. Rhett and I are the same age, and we’ve known each other for a long time, got disconnected, and then got reconnected back in Nashville a couple years ago. We’re just good buddies, we’re both from Georgia, got a lot of things in common, we both like the same things – huntin’ and fishin’ we run in the same circles. When I started with this new record I wanted to write with some different guys. Rhett, and Ben Hayslip and Dallas Davidson, all those guys are from Georgia and they’re havin’ just a ton of success writing. We showed up and I actually had some chicken and biscuits I brought it in for us to eat. He was like ‘let’s write chicken and biscuits,’ and I said ‘alright, what is that gonna be about?’ and then an hour later we figured out it was kind of a love song for me and kind of my wife and the way we feel about country girls in general.
CMP: Who are some of your favorite artists in new country today you listen to?
CF: I’m a big Jason Aldean fan and I’m a huge Jamey Johnson fan. I like Eric Church a whole bunch, I think he’s really cool. Zac Brown’s amazing, there’re just so many good artists. Luke Bryan I think is really cool. I like the stuff that’s kind of original. Not that I don’t mind some of the other stuff, I just tend to gravitate more towards you know that kind of stuff, who write their own, whether it be guys or girls, who write – Miranda Lambert is friggin’ amazing. You know I think Taylor Swift’s amazing, people talk about her singin’ or whatever, but I think, I’m on her side ‘cause I can’t sing worth a damn so the bottom line is she’s an incredible songwriter and great entertainer and she’s good to her fans and I got an enormous amount of respect for that.
CMP: You included newcomer Rachel Farley on your album. How did you meet Rachel?
CF: Well a couple years ago there was a songwriter’s thing and she showed up with her mom, thirteen years old and met her there and we just became friends. I honestly think Rachel will probably end up a household name in the next two or three years in the country music world ‘cause she’s really, really, really talented. I look at her and think about her age and where she’s at in her songwriting and you know she’s just an incredible voice. You know just a pretty little girl and I think she could end up being a big ol’ star.
CMP: What singer do you especially remember having a fun time collaborating with on Chicken and Biscuits?
CF: I like doing songs with people that I really like. I like artists that when I hear them I kinda know who it is. Some of the things that frustrate me, not that any of them aren’t great singers, but you hear certain things and you’re like ‘I can’t tell the difference between that and that.’ I like artists that I can kinda identify. I mean you look at the people that are on my record – you know who Darryl Worley is when you hear him you know. Randy Houser, you know who that is. I really dig that. I like people that are original, creative, and aren’t afraid to think outside the box honestly, to do something with me that’s a little bit different, but realize that the world’s not gonna come to an end or whatever the record labels are saying. It’ll be fine, Jamey’s on my record, he sells a million records, what’re y’all so afraid of? I just like original creative stuff, I think that’s cool and that’s what’s cool about music, there are no rules. You can do whatever you want. Nashville’s gotten caught up a little bit into sayin’ ‘here’s how you gotta do it, this is the rule,’ and that’s – you know, maybe that used to be, but it’s not anymore and people with musical talent’s a lot broader than what it used to be, people are not as genre-specific as they once were, they like all kinds of different things.
CMP: What’s your favorite song on Chicken and Biscuits?
CF: That’s a hard question. I don’t know that I have a favorite. I wrote or co-wrote most of the stuff on the record and I cut ‘em all ‘cause I loved ‘em, I mean I didn’t cut anything – I’m not one of those guys that’s gonna tell you I’ll try to make everything a single ‘cause that’s not true. I just tried to make everything a really cool, original song that could stand on its own. There’s quite a few that are certainly made for singles and there’s quite a few that are awesome songs, but they’re not gonna be on country radio. And that’s fine. It doesn’t take away from the fact that it’s a great song, so I don’t know that I have a favorite. I like every one of them or I wouldn’t have recorded them. I don’t cut anything I don’t like.
CMP: Given your previous career have you ever thought about writing a country song about golf?
CF: I have to tell you, not necessarily that I won’t but – you know people like to talk about that and that’s fine ‘cause it is a part of my life and who I was and it’s part of the journey to where I’m at. But I wanted initially, especially, to stay towards you know ‘Here I am I’m Colt Ford. I’m not trying to use golf or anything else to help me sell records, I’m tryin’ to make really good songs that people dig.’ But yeah, at some point yeah that’d be cool to do something about that.
CMP: In the song with Rachel Farley, “Country Kids,” there’s a line that says “God came first, and He still does.” What does your faith mean to you in your life and in your music?
CF: You know it’s kinda everything to me. I try to put God first in everything I do and you know give Him all the credit. A lot of things in my life became much better and made a lot more sense to me when I quit tryin’ to control everything and let Him control what was goin’ on and when I realized you know…I think it was a line from Lynyrd Skynyrd – there’s a line in one of their songs says “if you want to hear God laugh, tell Him your plans.” That kind of stuck with me. You know everybody wants to do what they want to do and want to do it in their time, but when you realize that’s not how it works things’ll run that much better for you.
CMP: What’s an obstacle you’ve had to overcome in getting to where you are today?
CF: Well you know, I mean there’s tons of obstacles because I’m just…just being so different. They haven’t really heard or seen anything like me and people just trying to think it’s somethin’ else other than what it is. People are really uh – it throws people off how amazingly good-looking I am. They get intimidated by that a lot. I got so many obstacles I don’t even know where to start. I’m too old, I’m too fat, you know, just all kinds of stuff. ‘You’re doin’ somethin’ too different, you can’t do that,’ and the bottom line is you know at the end of the day, I say this, and I believe it ‘til the day that I’m gone, that it’s all about good music and good songs. It all begins and ends with a song. That’s the bottom line I don’t care what anybody says. I don’t care how pretty somebody is or how good-lookin’ they are or how cool clothes you got on, you better have some songs that people can relate to that create some kind of emotional stir within somebody. You do that then you can have a career.
CMP: In the song “Hip Hop In a Honky Tonk” with Kevin Fowler it sounds like the story of how you started mixing hip hop into country. So where and when did you first start getting up on stage and “spitting that country,” as they say.
CF: Well I didn’t start out to necessarily do that, I just wanted to make a country record and be about me and my life and what I know about, that’s what I do. Problem was, I couldn’t sing very good. Still can’t sing very good. So I had to make a country record the only way I knew how. Now, it’s frustrating when somebody says that it’s not country, ‘cause I get that line “well it’s not country ‘cause you’re rappin’ and not singin’” Well, Aerosmith sings are they country? No. Well Rolling Stones sing, are they country? No. Give me a real legitimate argument. Country to me is about the lyrics and story – the content of the song. I mean I have fiddle on almost every song, and steel guitar on almost every song. My live show is one of the best live bands you’ll see. I have fiddle and steel onstage with me. I’m way more country than a lot of the artists that are coming out of Nashville, I can tell you that. But I didn’t set out to do anything in particular, I just wanted to make cool songs and it just worked out that this is the way I could do it.
CMP: A lot of the songs on Chicken and Biscuits sound like they’re going to make for really great live shows. Do you consider it first and foremost a party album?
CF: Yeah, I mean I think so. You know on this particular record there’s not a lot of – I didn’t get too serious on a lot of stuff. A lot of my stuff is about having fun. When I was writing this record I was at a happy time in my life, so there’s lots of happy fun songs on there. There’s no real reason for me to write a sad, somber song when that’s not really where I’m at in my life. But on the Second Helpings album that comes out in August, I got a couple things that’re a little more serious. A song about my daughter, called “She Wants to Ride in Trucks,” and it’s about her growing up and kind of me having to let go a little bit, that’s been difficult, really personal thing for me. But yeah, I would say this is kind of a party album. I want people to put my record on and forget about the economy and have fun. They’re talking about their lives and the things that they know about and that’s who I’m singing to.
CMP: When you’re writing songs with some of these guys like Ben Hayslip and Dallas Davidson and stuff, what helps you write them what helps you come up with some of those songs?
CF: “Chicken and Biscuits” is a good one. I write about real life and I tend to gravitate towards writers that talk about the same thing, so it can be a funny story or something you heard, or you know there’s a song on the record called “Diggin’” that’s really cool, and it’s fun song about a dude who’s got a DUI and he couldn’t drive so he’s drivin’ his backhoe around and you know that kind of stuff is fun, and it’s original and it’s creative and there’s guys out there who like that. It’s always something somebody says, or something you heard turns into something.
CMP: I know you’re doing over 200 tour dates. Is it hard to balance your family life with your tour schedule?
CF: Yeah, it’s pretty difficult. I mean I’m lucky I’m married to an amazing girl that’s my best friend and been with me from the beginning and I couldn’t do this without her ‘cause we got two kids and she handles a lot of stuff while I’m gone and she has to take care of things. It takes a strong woman to do that and also let me be in the forefront and be in the limelight. It takes a pretty amazing person to do that, so I’m really lucky. That’s why I stay here in Georgia, I mean my parents are here, her parents are here. My kids, this is all they’ve ever known. So they get to remain pretty normal being here and I want that kind of life for ‘em.
CMP: When did you first start listening to country and what sort of music were you raised on in Athens?
CF: I grew up on country, ‘cause my mom and dad are from way down in the country. First country I listened to was Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton and now I’ve gravitated towards a lot of music. Oddly enough, growing up in Athens, I was never into R.E.M. or B-52s, or the things that were coming out of around here, which is what Athens is known for musically. I was never really into any of that stuff and I don’t really know why. I mean I certainly respect and appreciate the work, it was just never my thing I guess.
CMP: What does country music mean to you?
CF: Country music is my life. It’s who I am. I’m not pretending to be country, I’m not “playing” country, you know I’ve done some other things, but what I talk about and sing about and do in my songs is really who I am. The people that know me realize that. That’s why people are relatin’ to it. People want stuff that’s honest and real. Country music is really my life, it’s who and what I am. Most of the values and everything that country people have – God, family, friends, America, and hard work. That’s all I know.
CMP: Can you give me any hints about what’s going to be on Second Helpings?
CF: Most of the songs are recorded, there’s a few people. There’s gonna be some cool stuff. There’s a song with Luke Bryan, there’s one with Tim McGraw, there’s gonna be some fun stuff. There’s quite a few other things in the works that I kinda don’t want to put out there yet, but I was listening to some stuff the other day and I was like ‘man, we got some songs on here that I really like just as much as the ones on Chicken and Biscuits. I think there’s gonna be an equal amount of really cool songs coming out on that one, so. I made these songs for everybody else to hear, not for me to listen to, that’s why we wanted to put it out. Jamey’s doing his Black and White record, and we’re doing two this year, so I think it’s fun, both of us are different and I think it’s gonna be cool to give the fans a bunch of music.
With Chicken and Biscuits on the shelves, folks everywhere are working up a craving for a big ol’ helping of their own. Since 2008’s Ride Through the Country Colt Ford has been rocking out shows country-style all across America, and on Chicken and Biscuits he takes it to the next level, with songs destined to become summer favorites. So, we don’t have to ask ‘how would you like to win a free copy?’ because we already know. You’d like it a lot. But what we do want to know is how much.
Tell us how much you’d like to win a free copy of Chicken and Biscuits by letting us know what you like to do or what you enjoy as much as eating chicken and biscuits, or with a great story from a Colt Ford concert. Enter by leaving a comment on this thread, or email us at CountryMusicPride@gmail.com by Friday May 7th, and you could be snacking in fine fashion in no time. Three winners whose stories really capture our imagination will be chosen to receive their own copy of Chicken and Biscuits, the perfect album for a summer in the country! Good luck and have fun – remember, when it comes to you the fans it’s “All About Y’All”!