Colt Ford may have a larger than life hillbilly gangsta public image but he’s actually a sly, passionate, multi-layered writer and he knows what to do in a recording studio, and most importantly, being a former drummer, he knows what do with the beats. He's also a skilled businessman. Ford runs his own label, Average Joe's, and he understands that you can sell as many or more CDs at a mud bog fest as you can at a mall, and if contemporary country radio has been slow to embrace his brand of good-old-boy outlaw hick-hop, Ford has built a huge audience anyway, and it's probably only a matter of time before radio falls in line. Thanks for Listening is Ford's fifth studio album, and it follows the blueprint of the earlier ones for the most part, with a host of guest artists, including Daniel Lee, Keith Urban, Chase Rice, Walker Hayes, Lee Brice, Justin Moore, Jerrod Niemann, and Randy Houser this time around, and featuring Ford's signature "rap in the mud" sound. But Ford isn't just an "I-need-a-guest-on-this-track" artist, and two of the best sides here feature Ford alone, “Crank It Up” and “Outshine Me.” He also isn't standing still as a songwriter, moving into ballad territory with a couple tracks, and the song “The High Life,” with country singer Chase Rice, is actually getting spins on contemporary radio. There isn't much Nashville about Ford, but he certainly understands how things work, and most importantly, he understands his audience, realizing that, while radio segments music into styles, audiences don't, and they're perfectly happy mixing country with rap, or anything with anything, as long as it works, and as long as it gets the tires moving and the weekend churning forward.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Steve Leggett