Country music pioneer Colt Ford returns with the announcement of his forthcoming full-length studio album, "Must Be The Country," due out on May 19th via Average Joes Entertainment. The 24 song track collection features previously released hits and new singles with features from Tracy Lawrence, Brantley Gilbert, Sam Grow, Tracy Byrd, and more. In conjunction with the announcement of the project, Ford provided a taste of the album, the title track “Must Be The Country”, featuring Country star Dillon Carmichael which is now available on all major digital platforms.
"Must Be The Country" is Ford’s first full length project in three years, which he worked on while battling eye cancer and recovering from an intensive surgery to remove the tumor. After his successful fight against cancer, Ford was diagnosed with Myasthenia Gravis, an autoimmune disorder that destroys neuromuscular connections and affects the muscles in the face. Despite all of his struggles with his health, Ford exhibited his fortitude and enduring spirit and continued to tour the nation, write and record new projects.
"The sentiment in "When Country Comes Back" so perfectly expresses how I feel, there couldn't be any sweeter words to my ears," said Ford. "I'm so thankful to be back out on the road with my band playing live music and seeing the fans again."
Colt Ford's blend of Country feels so natural due to his background, both professional and personal.
Born with the name of Jason Farris Brown on August 27, 1970 in Athens Georgia, where he was also raised. Surprisingly he was a professional golfer, playing on the Nationwide Tour after he played college golf at Georgia. Later, he turned his interests to music, taking influences from Country music and Hip Hop and assuming the stage name Colt Ford.
Colt grew up listening to R&B, Hip-Hop and Country with his first concert being Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton. Reaching adulthood he began writing songs, earning co-writing credits with Jamey Johnson, Jeremy Popoff, and the alternative rock band Lit. After a few years of writing, Country music duo Montgomery Gentry became clients.
Ford emerged from behind the scenes in 2006 after composing "Buck 'Em," the theme for the Professional Bull Riders, Inc. He went on In 2008 to release his debut album, "Ride Through the Country", going on tour with Country music up-and-comer Brantley Gilbert. Following up with "Chicken and Biscuits" in 2010 and the impressive "Every Chance I Get" in 2011, Ford created a larger than life hillbilly/redneck public image. The reality of it is that he was also a shy, passionate, and multi-layered writer and businessman. His former experience as a drummer meant he also knew his way around a recording studio too.
After starting his own label, Average Joe's Records, Ford worked and toured outside Nashville. Colt co-wrote songs with Nashville pros like Jeffrey Steele, Craig Wiseman, Rodney Clawson, and David Lee Murphy. For his next project, Ford released the successful "Declaration of Independence" in 2012. As a follow-up Ford released, "Thanks for Listening", just as summer was making its own debut in 2014. In May 2017, Ford dropped his sixth album, "Love Hope Faith", which included guest appearances from Brad Paisley, Toby Keith, Charles Kelley of Lady Antebellum, and '90s rockers that Ford had previusly written for, Lit.
By 2019, Ford Colt had built a series of staggering successes rising to mainstream notoriety. He accumulated five consecutive Top 10 debuts on the Top Country Albums Chart with "Declaration of Independence" at #1 in 2012. Two years later, "Thanks for Listening" climbed to the Top 10 of the Top 200, with the album reaching #1 on the Rap & Independent charts. Meanwhile, he also positioned six songs onto the Hot Country Songs Chart with “Back” [feat. Jake Owen] going Top 40. Among his multitude of accolades, Ford received a nomination in the category of “Vocal Event of the Year” at the Academy of Country Music Awards for “Cold Beer” with Jamey Johnson.
Consider this, Colt Ford has sold over 3 million albums, has millions of followers on social media, 1 billion-plus streams, and his dynamic discography spans collaborations with everyone from Toby Keith, Brad Paisley, Keith Urban, and Jermaine Dupri to members of No Doubt, Lit, and Lady Antebellum. Ford also co-wrote Jason Aldean’s #1 hit “Dirt Road Anthem” and Brantley Gilbert’s #1 hit “Country Must Be Country Wide”. Moreover, Ford’s tradition of genre-crossing continued on "Love Hope Faith" in 2017 with songs such as “Reload” [feat. Taylor Ray) charting new territory. On the "Keys to the Country" EP, Ford continued to evolve his artistry even further. Fittingly, he introduces the EP with the first single “When Country Comes Back,” as the world was ending a near global shutdown.
“The Keys to the Country EP is really me,” Ford has explained. “So much of my success is a result of the fact that I am my songs. You’re getting me in the lyrics! I don’t have chauffeurs, ten sports cars, or my own jet. That’s all cool, but I’m just Colt Ford. It’s relatable.” Ford continues to combine other genres with Country while still managing to preserve the right amount of grit to liven and light up any party. He magically blends Southern rock, modern Country, and sometimes Rap remains an unbeatable mix. Alongside guests such as Vince Gill [“Keys to the Country”], Josh Mirenda [“My Town”], Matt Stell [“Bad Beer“], and more, his lead vocals remain robust and uniformly strong as ever. “If I Didn’t Know Better” featuring Jana Kramer marks an emotional high for the "Keys to the Country" EP. The vulnerable, vibrant, and vital ballad illuminates Ford’s impressive range as he carries the heart-wrenching hook.
“I have to say ‘If I Didn’t Know Better’ is a real, true, and defining moment for me,” Ford has commented. “It’s how I sing and where I feel good at. It’s a straight-up Country power ballad that honestly every man in the world should listen to and realize what mistakes not to make. It changed a lot for me. Having Jana Kramer on the track was just icing on the cake. She is an incredible singer and fun to work with.”
Ford has previously stated about his music, “Listen to these tracks…you’ll know exactly who I am. Colt Ford is about God, family, friends, and America. I’m just a guy who loves life. I love people. I love knowing I could make a difference in somebody else’s life with a song. I hope you walk away with a smile on your face. I poured my heart and soul into this one. This ain’t a hobby. It’s life. The fans are the reason I’m here. I’m going to keep doing it for them. I feel like the luckiest man on planet earth, so I’m not stopping."
Now we have "Must Be The Country" to look forward to being released on May 19th. Along with the announcement of the album, Ford is launching his next North American tour with over 30 shows across the United States. The "Must Be The Country" tour will include stops in Nashville, Flagstaff, Virginia Beach, Chico, and more with additional dates to be announced. As Ford has expressed, "I can't wait to party with y'all on the road during my" Must Be the Country" tour. "
Colt Ford consistently blazes his own trail. By doing so, the Georgia singer, songwriter, musician, performer, and co-founder and co-owner of Average Joes Entertainment continues to earn his title of Country’s preeminent independent maverick.
By Deborah Gibson