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| 2 April 2021 | Reply


Just before Colt Ford took to the stage for a hit filled show that wowed a PACKED Stockyard audience in Holiday, FL, I was able to grab some time with the one and only to discuss everything from touring to collaborations to getting back to the business of making music…

Photo credit: Todd Jolicoeur – Toddstar Photo

Toddstar: I’m here with Colt Ford at The Stockyard in Holiday, Florida, a long way from our normal stomping grounds, Flint, MI’s The Machine Shop.

Colt: I’m ready to get back to The Machine Shop.

Toddstar: Right? Let’s talk about what’s going on. Artists are dying on the vine; they can’t tour. They’re starting to get out there… you’re starting to get out there.

Colt: It’s tough, man. I mean, nobody’s ever seen anything like it, nobody’s ever been through anything like it, and it’s really, really decimated the music industry. I get it. They’ll go talk about these big artists; they’re out there saying that, but they’re the 1%. I’m a working blue-collar artist. My guys, this is not a hobby for them; it’s what they do, and to not be able to pay them and stuff is it’s heartbreaking and frustrating. I understand everybody wants to be safe and all that, and I want everybody to be safe. I want to be safe, but at the same time, they’re not offering any help for my industry. I keep seeing all this money given away to different things, but it ain’t coming to us. We’re struggling; it’s just the facts. We’re just struggling. It’s exciting to get to play tonight. But literally, a month ago, we had 16 shows in March, and now I only have one. I’m doing the one show tonight. I’m just trying to hang in there.

Toddstar: I’ve been watching tour calendars. Everybody’s tour out there is getting bumped out.

Colt: People keep calling me, and I’m like, yeah, I don’t even know. I don’t know. What you saw was probably not true anymore. It’s just, it’s tough. I mean, we’ve moved our Machine Shop show probably three or four times already, saying it’s tough.

Toddstar: I know. With all the downtime, have you been able to make good use of it? You’ve got your fingers in so many pots with Average Joe’s. Have you been able to get some music put together and projects?

Colt: I got a bunch of new music. Yes, I do have some new music and working on some other stuff, producing some stuff. I’ve been producing Sam Crows record, which is doing great. I’ve working up producing another guy, Dusty Black, and new artists. It’s doing pretty good and doing some different things. But at the same time, I like it; I’m a pretty happy guy. You’ve known me for a while. It gets to me sometimes and starts climbing in on you. It’s just been tough. I mean, I don’t really know any other way to say it, but I’ve been working on some other stuff, and I’ll go through phases where I’m like, yeah, let’s go do this, and then I go through, and I’m like, I just don’t want to get off the damn couch. I just want to just sit here. And so I don’t know. It’s been a mixed bag of emotions, I guess, but I got some new music coming that I think is really cool. But what do you do? Do you put music out now? You want to put music out to be able to go tour behind it, now you can’t necessarily do that. I’m going to give it to them though.

Toddstar: That’s good. The fans want it and they’ll pick it up one way or another. One thing about you is you’ve launched so many careers, whether it is guys in your band that went off to big things, people you’ve launched on your label, you’ve even become landing spot for Montgomery Gentry. Looking back though, when you were starting off after you switched careers midlife, who was the guy or the group that really kind of helped give you that leg up to where you now want to return the favor?

Colt: Well, a lot of people obviously were scared and I didn’t really know any people in country music. It was just kind of, I decided to come in town and just start meeting people and making friends. But you know, early on I met on my first record, I met John Michael Montgomery, took a chance with me. I met John Michael, and in my mind is, should be in the hall of fame. I mean he’s 19 or 20 number one’s, some huge gigantic songs. One of the all-time great country singers to me, and he jumped in there early and gave me a shot with “Ride Through the Country,” and then Jamey Johnson, and it’s funny because there’s those people that would say that early on, he’s not country. I’m like, I promise you, Jamey Johnson would work with me if he didn’t think that I was country, you know what I mean? That’s not who he is. He became one of my closest friends, and I got lucky that some guys took a chance with me and I believe you’re supposed to do that to me as an artist when you have success, you should always try to help another artist or a younger artist or whatever you can do. I think that’s important. I think we could do a lot more of it quite honestly than we do. In some kind of way, mentoring somebody, and I don’t mean just somebody taking somebody on tour. I mean, that’s great. But I meant explaining how the business works. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve still sought out guys become super close with Toby Keith’s guys that have been doing it a long, long time had been hugely successful. You spend time with those guys, and you ask them questions and why do you do this? And how do you do that? And what do you think about this? I think all that’s important to do, and I was lucky, nobody does it on their own. Everybody has helped along the way. So I’ve certainly had a lot of artists early on that took chance to record songs with me because they believed in me and the music, and I didn’t have no money to pay them or do nothing. They did it because they believed in me and the songs. It’s so humbling and much appreciated for me. John Michael, I think Walker Montgomery, his son, is going to end up being a big star. Early on, I produced Walker’s first EP. I told John I just I’ll do it. You don’t owe me nothing. I don’t want no money for that. Because he helped me, I think that’s the way you should do that. You shouldn’t forget kind of where you come from. Some artists do, some don’t. Hopefully, I don’t. I got people around me. I got good people around me that don’t let me won’t let me get too far out of bounds besides my parents, and stuff like that’s my fiddle player and to her manager and everything. If I get too outside, then he’ll, he’s liable to smack the shit out of me. We need people like that because you get in this business and it’s pretty easy to lose touch with reality in this world of music. Especially if you get hugely successful and a lot of people pulling at you and telling you and wanting to hang on and wanting to be a part of it, you got to have somebody sometimes to go; hey, don’t do that. You’re not going to do that. We’re going to go; we’re leaving. You’re not going to go out here and do something stupid or whatever. So I’m blessed that I got a lot of people around me. They ain’t always stopped me. I still done some dumb stuff. I’ve got a lot of good people around me. I’ve been really blessed with that.

Toddstar: That’s awesome. You’ve been surrounded with some of the biggest names. That said, who’s out there that you still want to do something with who’s on your bucket list stuff?

Colt: There’s tons of people that I’ve love to work with. And I get asked that a lot, like who do you do? And honestly, it’s not as simple as saying this person or that person. To me, it’s anybody that’s interested in doing something cool and not going; it’s not manufactured. It’s not created by managers and labels and stuff. It’s created organic. That could be anybody I met. I think if you put two artists in the room together that know who they are, that their self, they can come up with something cool. So it could be anybody to me. I can work with Taylor Swift. I could work with Jay-Z. I can work with Billie Eilish. Whoever. There’s so many artists that I think are so cool. To me, it’s all about the music. As long as the music is cool and the song is cool, it could be anybody, and they don’t necessarily have to be a star, really. It’s just as long as the music rocks. There’s some things that I’d love to do, yeah, and maybe they’ll happen and maybe they won’t. But I just still want it to be organic. I don’t want it to be like, Oh, label paying so-and-so to do something with them. Not that it’s not cool sometimes, but for me, it’s just a little more personal than that.

Toddstar: So it’s more about the experience.

Colt: Yeah. I mean I want them to believe in the song and believe in what we’re doing. There’s tons of artists that I hadn’t worked with. Maybe we will, maybe we won’t, but it’d be all right.

Toddstar: Looking back through music, what’s the one or two albums that really were a turning point for you? Meaning they influenced you enough not only to where you decided I want to do this, but they just drive you through your soul.

Colt: Well, golly, that’d be hard for me to answer. I’m such a weird dude musically. I love so many different things. And so many different genres and styles. I’ve just never been that guy that’s like, I like metal, and I only like metal. I like country, and I only like country. I like songs. There’s lots of songs that I think are cool songs that I don’t necessarily love the artists or may not be really into the artist. But I think that song’s cool or whatever. It’d be hard to say, man. There’s so many things that I listen to early on that moved the needle. Run-D.M.C. blew my mind with King of Rock. I thought that was amazing, and I got lucky to do a song with D.M.C. There’s just so many; I’ve never been able to truly answer that question because I like so much different stuff. I’ll be riding in my truck going back and forth, and I’ll get on a kick and get on old R&B stuff. I like Earth, Wind and Fire, and the Commodores and then Cameo and stuff like that. But then I love all old countries too, and then I’ll get on a kick and be listening to all that. I listened to old rap stuff, and I’m just all over the board. I know I’m weird. I like it.

Toddstar: Well, anybody who’s known you as long as I have or longer, and listen to your music, knows that you bring all those influences.

Colt: Yeah and I like that.

Toddstar: That’s not a surprise to me because you bring all of it to everyone else.

Colt: I think it’s fun and this new music I got, man, I got some stuff on here that people are like, Whoa, it generally, as you get older and you’ve been doing it a long time, you don’t normally expect somebody to come back out with something, but it’s completely new and fresh because it’s just not kind of how it works—you kind of keep doing what you’re doing and all that. I’ve got a lot of that, but this new music is about to come out. There’s a lot of stuff that people are like, wow, I just wasn’t expecting you to go there. That’s cool. We’ll see how everybody feels about it, but I’m going to give it to them. I just love being creative and working, but working with some younger guys and younger artists is fun. That’s exciting. It kind of gets you excited to hear different young artists perspective on something. I’m excited about this new music. There’s a lot of stuff in it—a lot of cool things.

Photo credit: Todd Jolicoeur – Toddstar Photo

Toddstar: Well, hopefully, the world will open up enough that music can drop, and we can hear some of it, and we’ll all get into it back in to Flint.

Colt: I’m going to get it out there regardless. We going to make music either way. But I’m excited about everybody hearing this, and I’m just trying to decide how I’m going to get it out there. Honestly, I got enough for a double record. Almost near triple record. Honestly, I’ve been recording a lot of stuff, and now I’m sitting there thinking, well, maybe people love it so much. I don’t think that people care as much about albums as far as like big album release, whatever. They just want to get the music quick. I’m thinking like now I got enough to release three or four songs a month until the end of the year. Maybe I do it that way. So we’ll see. It’s coming though.

Toddstar: Yeah. I can’t wait for tonight’s show. I can’t wait to see what you do tonight.

Colt: I’m excited man. You’re down here, it’s hard for you to move around up there. Your governor ain’t wanting to let nothing happen up there [ed. in Michigan]. I can’t wait to get back though, man. I love it. That’s one of those places I will forever play. As long as Kevin has The Machine Shop, I will play a show there.

Toddstar: I don’t think he’s planning on giving up any time soon. I’ll let you do your pre-show and I’ll get the hell out of your way Colt.

Colt: Thanks brother. Great to see you.





Category: Interviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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