Party in the Sticks 2017, Colt Ford02 July, 2017 5:00PM Ozarks Amphitheater
Party in the Sticks 2017 at Ozarks Amphitheater
Doors Open at 4:00pm
With his sixth studio album, the aptly named Love Hope Faith, his follow-up to 2014’ s Thanks for Listening, Colt Ford continues to live out his boyhood dream – the one where you “wake up on a mission/to buy that beat-up Gibson,” as he sings on “No Rest.”
Love Hope Faith is exactly that, a message to to his loyal fan base, and a strike against the divisiveness plaguing our country, celebrating the things that bring us together – friends, family, our faith in a better future.
Featuring such guests as Music City stalwarts Brad Paisley (“Lookin’ for a Hand Out”), Toby Keith (“Time Flies”), Lady Antebellum’ s Charles Kelley and brother Josh (“Young Americans”) and veteran rockers Lit (“I’ m Mud”); promising newcomers like Waterloo Revival’ s Cody Cooper and George Birge (“Dynamite”), Tyler Farr (“My Truck”), Taylor Ray Holbrook (“Reload”), Javier Colon (“No Rest”) and Granger Smith (“Keepin’ It Real”), Love Hope Faith is the ultimate populist country record, featuring a little something for everyone.
“I’m just trying to bring people together,” says the Georgia native, a one-time golf pro who still frequents the links and the co-founder/owner of his own Average Joes Entertainment. “There’ s so much conflict out there, it’ s hard to decide who’ s right and who’ s wrong.”
While he admits to a populist fan base and down-to-earth, “Keepin’ It Real” attitude, Colt cautions, “I’m not a politician. I’ m a musician, a performer. We have to get past our differences and find a common ground.”
What better way to do that with Colt Ford’ s groundbreaking hybrid of country, blues, rock and rap rhythms, who has built up a following that started with mud trucker events and graduated to arena status sharing the stage with the likes of golfing buddy Toby Keith.
From the statement of beliefs in “Reload” (“We can agree to disagree. That doesn’t make you a bad person, I’ m just telling you what I think. If you pet that dog, you might get bit”) and the adolescent dreams of “trying to live big in a small town” in “Young Americans,” singing “Free Bird” and “Free Falllin’ to the country/EDM mash-up of “Dirt Road Disco” (“Can there be a more fun song than that?”) and the ode to the joys of running your fingers in the wind of an open car window (“Lookin’ For a Handout”) or “one more shot of Baccardi” in “Time Flies,” Colt Ford breaks boundaries and mends fences along the way.
“I feel more confident than ever as an artist,” says Ford, and while he numbers some of the most important supporters in Music City, his lack of country radio acceptance and award show accolades continues to drive him.
“I’ve given it my best shot. Some of that outsider thing is tongue-in-cheek, but some of it is true. I’ m unbelievably accepted by artists and songwriters. There’s no one I can’ t work with. They know I’ m real. I’ve built those relationships over time, and I feel I’ve created a body of work.”
Love Hope Faith was created with some of the leading songwriters in music today, Jeff Hyde (“Lookin’ for a Hand Out”) and Justin David (“Time Flies”) to Jaren Johnston, Neil Mason and Jesse Frasure (“Dirt Road Disco”) to Walker Hayes & Thomas Archer (“No Rest”) and Eric Dodd & Alex Hall (“Dynamite”).
Still, it is the sturdy persona of Colt Ford that gives them their consistency. “There are a lot of different styles on this album, but I think my fans will hear it’s just me,” he says. “As long as I remain true to myself, I can delve into all of them.”
Songs like the rock/hip-hop “Dynamite” reference the Scorpions (“rock like a hurricane”), Marvin Gaye (“let’ s get it on”), Michael Jackson (“Billie Jean on the radio”) and Jay Z, while the first single, “4 Lane Gone,” sports a full-blown rock intro before settling into a lament for a lost romance in which the individuals are on their separate paths. “My Truck” is a hilarious “can you top this??” playground rank-out session, while the anthemic “I’m Mud” is just that, a self-deprecating, but in-your-face song from the perspective of the dirt below (“I’ve been played on, spit at, kicked until I turned to dust”). “Keepin’ It Real” is just that… Colt on staying the distance, “headlights on the highway/just keep going… Beer is cold and life is good.”“No Rest” probably sums up Colt’ s ambitions on Love Hope Faith, his tribute to being a working musician, what he calls “my version of ‘ My Way.’”
“I’m proud of that song,” he says. “I think it’ s one of the best I’ve ever done. It’ s not just about being a rock star, but accomplishing your dreams, a passion that can’ t be stopped. Anyone who has that drive will appreciate it. Everybody’s got fears, but when you hear that song, it’s me.”
“I built walls. and I’ ll be here when they’ re gone,” he says, taking the role of “I’ m Mud,” but you know he might as well be talking about himself. Love Hope Faith is Colt Ford’s musical message, one so universal it tears down those walls, then invites everyone into the tent.
It seems like Country Rap is starting to take over mainstream. With the recent success of Colt Ford and The Lacs along with current “rap style” hits by country mega stars Jason Aldean (Dirt Road Anthem), Toby Keith (Red Solo Cup) and Tim McGraw (Truck Yeah), one would think that this is a new concept. But if you are a true hip-hop historian you would recall that this movement actual began in 2001 with the release of Bubba Sparxxx’s debut album “Dark Days, Bright Nights”. The video for the first single “Ugly” featured Bubba and pals in the mud with pigs, on tractors and performing in front of a house covered with bug lights. If that’s not the epitome of Country, then nothing is.
The platinum certified “Dark Days, Bright Nights” debuted on Interscope Records in October 2001 and was produced by Houchins and superstar producers Timbaland and Organized Noize. It was follow-up by the critically acclaimed 2003 release “Deliverance”.
“I remember thinking, as a 12 or 13 year old kid, that the spirit of hip-music wasn’t a whole lot different than the spirit of “outlaw” country music I had grown up hearing around my pops and uncles.” Bubba recalls. “The rebellious nature of say NWA, or 2 Live Crew, or The Geto Boys, in the late 80s, early 90s just wasn’t that different from the movement that guys like Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, Billy Joe Shaver and others created by simply being themselves and saying what they wanted. Not to mention things were changing in rural areas, during my teenage years. The various drug epidemics had penetrated my neck of the woods, and the “reality” of life in the country had begun to shift. Folks were still hard working, and had traditional values, but drugs, and violence had become more prevalent, as a new generation of boys and girls, became man and women, in this environment. In some ways, the lower class, even out there where we were, started to identify as much with rap music, as country. This coincided with hip-hop, and rap exploding on popular culture, so the merging of the two genres, in terms of people.
“With the first album “Dark Days Bright Nights” we knew the people we wanted to reach, but didn’t necessarily know how to reach them. This would really be the case with “Deliverance”, a couple years later. We had hooked up with Organized Noize, and Timbaland, two of the most accomplished, and respected names in urban music, and they had really bought in to what we were trying to do. This was an exciting time! We were very successful with the first album, taking baby steps toward bringing the two worlds together. The lyrics, and imagery were definitely country but the music was still pretty urban leaning. In retrospect, that’s probably right where we needed to be at that time. As we prepared to record the 2nd album, “Deliverance”, it was actually Timbaland, who decided the music needed to match the lyrics and imagery. ”
“As bold as “Deliverance” was, it was probably too big of a leap forward to win commercially when it was released in 2003. We were still marketing, and promoting the “old way” and spending tons of money at radio and trying to get MTV and BET to play the video. It was also at a time when Lil John had the whole world “crunk.”
Looking back, it’s actually pretty remarkable that the song and album “Deliverance”did as well as they did. We just didn’t know how to reach the people we wererepresenting. Keep in mind there was no YouTube, and the Internet was still an infant in terms of the impact it would soon have on music. Interscope Records did the best they could, based on the way they did things at the time, but in the end we all failed miserably in thinking of ways to market an album so outside of the box.
I will slap anybody who questions my right to sit at this table, and eat. We fought wars for this, and it wasn’t always this easy.
Struggle was destined to be an Outlaw.. The grandson of legendary Country Music icon Waylon Jennings, Struggle is part of a long legacy of Gangsters, Outlaws and Rock Stars.. Growing up as a black-sheep in his family, he was forced to fight his way out of the streets of West Nashville, eventually making his way into the studio to laying the foundation for what would soon become his personal contribution to the Jennings family legacy.. But his past finally caught up with him in the fall of 2011 when he was arrested on State and Federal drug conspiracy charges.
Having been incarcerated for the last 2 years, Struggle has gone through a complete transformation.. Mentally, emotionally and physically.. Through sharing his story on social media networks, Struggle has grown emotionally and intellectually, assuming a new level of social responsibility and becoming an inspirational and motivating force in the lives of people all around the world. He has maintained the ability to oversee his career and his public persona through his constant communication with his management team. Struggle’s message of strength, determination and courage in the face of adversity has been amplified by his daily presence on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. With the support of Yelawolf, his Slumerican family, as well as his business partner Sebastian Marbury, Struggle has managed to develop and maintain a direct connection with his fans despite his being incarcerated.