Coronavirus

Colt Ford Ready to 'Crank It Up!' With First Live DVD

Colt Ford
Goldy Locks,

Colt Ford photographed in 2014.

Colt Ford has enjoyed a very successful run in the industry since bursting on the scene in the late 2000s. He co-wrote the Jason Aldean blockbuster "Dirt Road Anthem" with Brantley Gilbert, and has shared the stage with many of the biggest stars in the format. His last four discs have all made the top 10 of the Billboard Country Albums chart. However, with the release of Crank It Up! Colt Ford Live at Wild Adventures, Ford goes where he has never gone before -- releasing a live DVD of his show, filmed in Valdosta, Ga.

"It's something that we've been talking about for years," the entertainer tells Billboard. "Not a lot of people have live DVDs out there anymore. It's really cool that Eagle Vision has given me the chance to do it. To know how much fun that I have playing for the fans is really surreal to have it out there. The people who have seen it have really seemed to enjoy it, and that makes me happy."

2014: The Year in Music

What might surprise people about Ford's live show is just how well it translates to fans of all ages and demographics. "What you see is nobody sitting down, everyone standing up and singing every word. You also see everyone from 4- and 5-year-olds to 75-year-olds. That's what it's about for me." He says he enjoys giving those fans everything he has. "I have only one way to play. It's the same if it's a hundred people or a hundred-thousand, I do the same thing. It was fun to be able to do that, and to do it in Georgia meant a lot to me."

Ford says the energy he puts forth on stage spreads all the way through to everyone in his organization. "I've worked really hard in creating a band that believed in me, the music and what we do, They are so freaking good, and those are the same guys you hear playing on the record -- which you don't see much of in Nashville. I want people to walk out of a show thinking, 'Man, that was fun.'"

Without a huge single at radio, Ford has had to take more of a grass-roots approach to building his brand, but the results speak loud and clear. "It's been a different road for me to hoe without the radio hits -- though there have been a lot of stations that have played me. I would love to have a song in the top 40, but it is what is. To show up somewhere six years ago to a hundred people and now have about 7,000 people, it's an awesome feeling."

Ford also keeps a close eye on his label, Average Joe's Entertainment. "Shannon Houchins [co-owner] and I are constantly trying to come up with new things, and Noah Gordon is there doing a lot of producing and writing in the A&R department," he says, adding that he is very excited about the company's most recent sign -- Lucy Angel -- in a partnership with G-Force Music Group. "I think they are incredible. Their music is something I think we need in country music. It's a mother and her two daughters, and they are all so talented and beautiful that you can't tell them apart. That's a tradition in country music, and their sound is traditional. I can't wait for people to hear them." The trio has just released their debut for the label, Crazy Too.

Prominently displayed on the cover of Crank It Up! -- as well as at each of Ford's live shows -- is something Ford is very passionate about: the American flag. "Everybody that sees me and knows me will tell you that I am a very patriotic person," Ford says. "That's the way I was raised. My microphone is a shotgun with a flag wrapped around it. It's just who I am. I wouldn't be able to play music if it weren't for those men and women who fight for our freedom every day. They have given so much in order for us to have our rights. At my show, I'm gonna fly that flag, and if it offends you, I'm sorry. You won't take away my right to fly it. I want people to be proud of where they're from -- being in the country. A lot of TV shows make it out where it's not cool, but it is. There's nothing wrong with saying 'Ma'am' and 'Sir' and pulling your pants up. The things that I was taught were the things I teach my kids. I want them to be proud to fly that flag. If you don't like it and you don't believe in it, then you need to head to the airport, buy a ticket, and take your ass somewhere else."

THE BILLBOARD BIZ
SUBSCRIBER EXPERIENCE

The Biz premium subscriber content has moved to Billboard.com/business.


To simplify subscriber access, we have temporarily disabled the password requirement.