Love, Hope and Faith are three things you should never lose. The three also make up the title of Colt Ford’s electric new album. NECM sat down recently with Colt to talk about the album and to get a preview of what we can expect when he comes up our way to rock Toby Keith’s Foxborough this coming Friday, June 9th.
Colt describes the new record as the “best thing that I’ve ever done, completely: lyrically, sonically, the songs.” He attributes this to pushing himself while maintaining who he is. “The people who got me where I am, the stuff that they like, I got stuff for them. But I got some stuff on there, that even some friends of mine are going wow is that really, is that you, is that you singing, or whatever. I think that’s important.”
Track 1 off the album is a song called ‘Reload’ that features Taylor Ray Holbrook. Colt put out a music video for the song which featured former UFC Light Heavyweight Champ “Suga” Rashad Evans. The two met at a celebrity fundraiser hosted by NASCAR driver Austin Dillon and became buddies and when Colt was pitched a ‘Rocky’ style video, Colt had to call Rashad. “I sent him the song and he’s like ‘man that’s my life, that’s what I’m trying to do now is ‘Reload’… I’m training, I’m trying to win a world title again, so that’s what I’m having to do is reload.’” While Evans stars in the video there wasn’t very much acting, Rashad just came up to Nashville and trained there for a few days. Most of the clips are just footage of him doing his thing.
Throughout the album, Colt teamed up with some of Nashville’s brightest stars including Charles and Josh Kelly (‘Young Americans’), Tyler Farr (‘My Truck’) and Granger Smith (‘Keepin’ It Real’). One awesome artist who he teams up with that you might not expect is Connecticut’s own Javier Colon, winner of Season 1 of NBC’s The Voice. The two are both avid golfers (Colt is a former pro). They hit it off at a tournament years ago and have remained close since. At Jim Furyk’s golf tournament, Colt played the song ‘No Rest’ for Javier and Javier actually broke down. “He’s like ‘this is my life, this is why I play music.’ I knew right then that we needed to do this together.” The song is about passionately following your dreams. Walker Hayes, Thomas Archer, and Marshall Altman who wrote the song put it from a musical perspective, but the song is much bigger than that. “It’s about having a passion and love and chasing whatever it is that you really love that you do well. Whatever you’re doing, being the best at that.” Colt talked to us about how cool it was to him, that he and Javier, two guys from totally different places were able to be brought together by music and put out a song that they both related so much to.
Though that message is important in today’s world, Colt said he tried to not be political on the album. One song that might be mistaken for political is ‘Lookin’ For A Hand Out’ which features Brad Paisley. However, the song is like many of Paisley’s hits where you think it’s going to be one thing but is actually something completely different. The song is just about a girl letting her hair down and running her fingers through the wind, with her hand out the car window. Ford and Jeff Hyde, who plays guitar for Eric Church and has written many of his hits including ‘Springsteen,’ wrote the song together. Colt says that Brad was a “perfect” fit for the song, “it sounds like a song that he can do, that can be just his without me. He plays guitar on there which is just unbelievable.”
While yes, there are many songs on this album where those amazing artists collaborate, there are also some songs that are just Colt. One that really stands out is ‘4 Lane Gone.’ Colt shows off on the song that while he’s known for his rapping, he’s also no hack as a vocalist. As he put it “Look, I’m not the best singer in town, not even close, I don’t claim to be. But I ain’t the worst singer either. There’s a lot of guys who have made a lot more money than I have that don’t sing as good as I do.”
In addition to all his artist buddies, Colt calls many of Nashville’s best writers his friends as well. So, while Colt writes many of his songs, he gets some from others too. Given his unique stylings we were left wondering if the songs he gets are written for him, or if they are more traditional songs that he puts his twist on. Colt says it is a mix, though he adds with a laugh that sometimes when people send a song that they say is “perfect” for him, he goes “wow is that what you think I do, I hope I hadn’t done a song that sounds like that.” Jokes aside, on this album Colt really wanted to stretch and encouraged people to send him any song, “with this record I said just send me anything, it doesn’t matter what it is, I just want the best songs.” It worked out as this album has up to 8 songs that Colt truly believes can make it as singles, “smashes” as he kept accurately describing them.
Colt is just as excited to return to Toby Keith’s in Foxboro, as we are to have him. He promises that fans will love his high energy show. He credits a lot of that to his band who he describes as one of the best. He takes pride that they do everything live, “that’s just the way I believe you’re supposed to do it.” Rather than using studio musicians like some artists, Colt’s road band also performs on his albums, “it’s even more fun for them to be out there going they created that guitar lick, or that fiddle lick or that drum fill.” He says the live show is put together so that even someone who had never heard of him before seeing him will leave going “man that was really fun, there was this really good-looking guy with a cowboy hat dancing and singing. You’re gonna have fun. If you’re not having fun at my show, come track me down, I’ll give you your money back.” Don’t be surprised if you see that same good-looking guy in a golf hat on a course around New England in the days leading up to the show either. The Georgia native told us “I love coming up there, I love that area. I’m gonna try to get in a day early and play a little golf.”
Big thanks to Colt for taking the time to talk to us, we’re huge fans of the album and have had Friday circled on our calendar for a long time. Tickets are still available for Friday’s show at Toby Keith’s in Foxborough. They can be purchased here for only $15 in advance!