Colt Ford

We The People-2019 (Average Joe’s Entertainment}

Reviewed by Michael  Rampa

<P>Before Colt Ford hit pay dirt with “Dirt Road Anthem” he was considered a country music outlier with his rap/rock style and collaborations. He makes no apologies for it as he proclaims on the guns blazing opener, “I’m Still Me.” “I’m still a whole lot more Georgia than I’ll ever be Tennessee.” Ford is known for his collaborations and this album is chock full of them. Mitchell Tenpenny, Jimmie Allen, and Eddie Montgomery populate his seventh studio album.

<P>Ford said in an interview that the songs are more true duets rather than having a guest artist come in to just sing the chorus. Eddie Montgomery keeps the memory of former band mate Troy Gentry alive on the standout touching ballad, “Lucky Scars.” Ford only has three writing credits and lets Corey Crowder, James McNair and Brandon Kinney do most of the heavy lifting. The title track may bring a political bent to mind at first glance, but it is instead an all-inclusive anthem that invites people to slow down and find a way to make the world a better place. As per usual, there is no shortage of ass kicking guitar, pedal steel and furious drum work that give some of the songs an authentic muscle shoals feel.

<P>The only number that feels remotely poppy is “Nightcap” mostly because Michael Ray’s vocals sound exactly like Florida Georgia Line. Upon checking the liner notes, Tyler Hubbard and Brian Kelly have co-write credits

<P>Once considered an outlier, it seems the genre is swinging back his way with recent superstar collaborations featuring Brad Paisley and Carrie underwood, Jason Aldean and Kelly Clarkson and Miranda Lambert and Maren Morris.   Ford suggests he good things always come with positive results an artist benefits from. “I guarantee if you put me and Taylor Swift in a room, a dope-ass song would come out of it.” If this album is any indication, he’s probably right.