Colt Ford’s story is so improbable, it could well be the subject for one of his songs, and indeed his autobiography is laced through his music on the five albums he’s released on his Average Joes Entertainment label over the past, from his 2008 debut, Ride Through the Country, to 2010’s Chicken & Biscuits, 2011’s Every Chance I Get, 2012’sDeclaration of Independence and last year’s Thanks for Listening. Answer to No One: The Colt Ford Classics collects 13 tracks from those five – and one from the 2010 Mud Digger compilation – for the most complete collection yet of his revolutionary mash-up of good old boy country and the rhythms of hip-hop, a groundbreaking combination.
Four of Ford’s five albums have peaked in the Top 10 on the Billboard Country chart, with Chicken & Biscuits (#8), Every Chance I Get(#3), Declaration of Independence (#1) and Thanks for Listening (#2), with the latter two hitting the Billboard 200 at #4 and #10, respectively. All his best-known hits are represented on Answer to No One, from his debut, “No Trash in My Trailer” and his duets with Brantley Gilbert (“Dirt Road Anthem”) and Jason Aldean (“Drivin’ Around Song”) to collaborations with Jake Owen (“Back”), Duck Dynasty’s Boss Hog Willie Robertson (“Cut ‘Em All”), Eric Church (“Country Thang”), Jamey Johnson (“Cold Beer”), John Michael Montgomery (“Ride Through the Country”) and the Nappy Roots and Nic Cowan (“Waste Some Time”).
For the Georgia native and one-time golf pro, now an entrepreneur and cultural pioneer who started playing the mud truck circuit then went on to touring with the likes of Toby Keith, Eric Church and Florida Georgia Line, and breaking into film with a recent cameo in David Spade’s Joe Dirt 2, Colt Ford’s compilation album allows him to take a breath and survey how far he’s come in seven short years.
“I’m doing this album for the fans,” he suggests, laughing that he’s never had a song in the Top 40. “These are greatest hits to those guys. My life’s on that album. When you look at the history of music and start picking out the people that really move the needle, most of them didn’t answer to anyone. They did their own thing. It wasn’t as if they were disrespecting anybody else. But I’m going to make music my way. If you want a long career, that’s how you have to do it. You can do what somebody else wants you to, but I don’t think you’ll last too long that way.”
Indeed, Colt Ford has followed his own muse, combining his early love, listening to hip-hop records by the likes of Run-DMC to a form of country that harks back to spoken word greats like Tex Williams (“Smoke Smoke Smoke That Cigarette”), Roger Miller (“Hot Rod Lincoln”), Johnny Cash (“A Boy Named Sue”) or C.W. McCall (“Convoy”).