Toby Keith & Colt Ford Party Up in Hartford

Toby Keith
Shut Up & Hold On Tour
Featuring Colt Ford
July 26, 2014
Hartford, Connecticut

Toby Keith brought his “Shut Up & Hold On” Tour to the Xfinity Theater in Hartford, Connecticut this past Saturday.  Alongside him, he had his Easy Money Band along with opening acts Colt Ford and Krystal Keith, his daughter.  As the norm for a Toby Keith concert, there were songs about drinking, being in love, heartbreak, red solo cups, and Patriotism.  And that suited the Connecticut crowd just right as a party broke out early in the day and never stopped.

I unfortunately missed Krystal Keith’s set as I was interviewing Colt Ford on his bus (see http://millertimemusicspot.blogspot.com/2014/07/interview-with-colt-ford.html for the entire interview).  Colt spoke to me about touring and golfing with Toby, his new video for “Workin’ On” and Marcus Luttrell’s involvement, as well as how he is the best dancer in country music.  Colt had an amazing presence in our interview and that carried over into his set on stage. 

 
 
Colt took to the stage to Answer To No One and never looked back as he put together a bombastic ten song set.  If anyone in the crowd had not heard of Colt Ford, by the end of his set they certainly had to be intrigued.  Not only to did he attack the microphone with the ´╗┐the rapping skills of a seasoned veteran, but he sang, danced, and had a rocking backing band to add to the unique combination of musical mash-ups. 
 

And anyone who thinks that Colt Ford is not country is sadly mistaken.  When he sang songs such as The High Life, Crickets, and Ride Through the Country, its impossible to not understand that themes are as country as it gets.  His delivery may be a bit unorthodox, but in a time where music is changing and there is a lot more exploration, Colt Ford has created himself a nice niche that has served as a starting point for a lot of other artists to play off of.  In fact, he ended his set with a mash-up of Eminem’s Lose Yourself and Jason Aldean’s Dirt Road Anthem, a song he wrote with Brantley Gilbert.   I was thoroughly entertained by Colt’s set and a great majority on the crowd was in the palm of his hand by the time he finished.  The combination of dancing, flag waving, and cell phones illuminating the theater showed that Colt Ford has a real place in country music. 

 
 
 

As it is customary for any Toby Keith show, the set began with a hilarious video filmed in Las Vegas featuring Toby, Carrot Top and the new line of Ford F Series Trucks, Toby’s sponsor.  Once the video ended and the screen dropped, Toby jumped out and jumped right into some high energy songs, Haven’t Had Drink All Day, American Ride, and Made in America.  Toby used a lot more of the stage and catwalk than he has in past years, which is always great to see as he has such a dominating stage presence.  The crowd sang word for word with the megastar, as Toby pumped out hit after hit. 

As a fan of Toby Keith, who has seen him over twenty times live, it was a real surprise to hear some of the older hits that he had not done in a long time.  These classics included Country Comes to Town, Who’s That Man, and Dreamwalkin’.  He said his band had been working really hard to relearn the older songs and that he wanted to sing them since its been twenty plus years since he started in the business.  And the band plus Toby did not skip a beat as the old classics along with the newer hits were all masterfully executed. 

Despite the amazing catalogue of hits that Toby has delivered to the masses, year in and year out, a Toby Keith concert experience would not be one without the absolutely stirring encore that he produces each show.  He invites any members of the military in the crowd up on stage with him as he performs the chilling “American Soldier” and the patriotic “Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue”.  This Saturday night in Connecticut seemed to include branches of every part of our military, as they raised their flags and sang with emotion.  Toby’s show is truly indicative of what a long lasting mega star in the music business is capable of and I hope he keeps doing it on this scale for many years to come. 

SETLISTS:

COLT FORD:

  1. Answer to No One
  2. High Life
  3. Crank It Up
  4. Workin’ On
  5. Crickets
  6. Driving Around Song
  7. Ride Through The Country
  8. Washed in the Mud
  9. Lose Yourself
  10. Dirt Road Anthem

TOBY KEITH:

  1. Haven’t Had Drink All Day
  2. American Ride
  3. Made in America
  4. Beers Ago
  5. Wanna Talk About Me
  6. God Love Her
  7. Whiskey Girl
  8. Beer For My Horses
  9. Dreamwalkin’
  10. Who’s That Man
  11. Country Comes To Town
  12. Shouldn’t Kiss Me Like This
  13. Get Outta My Car
  14. Red Solo Cup
  15. Who’s Your Daddy
  16. As Good As I Once Was
  17. I Love This Bar
  18. Should’ve Been A Cowboy
  19. How Do You Like Me Now
  20. Little Less Talkin’
  21. American Soldier (ENCORE)
  22. Courtesy of the Red, White, and Blue (ENCORE) 

Interview with Colt Ford

Interview with COLT FORD on July 26, 2014

I had the pleasure of interviewing Average Joes Entertainment recording artist, Colt Ford, ahead of his show with Toby Keith at the Xfinity Theater in Hartford, Connecticut this past Satuday.  Colt entertained a number of questions on his tour bus for me and was equally humble and entertaining.  I hope you enjoy what he had to tell me: 

MTMS: What made you want to change from professional golfer to music?

COLT: I’ve always done both. Music is really my first love though.  But I’ve always been pretty good at golf and my Mom always said ‘God does not give you anything he does not intend for you to use’.  I happened to be pretty good at it and be able to make a living off of golf for awhile.  But, music is where I am supposed to be. 

MTMS: Growing up on music, did you listen to rap and country?

COLT: Growing up I listened to Waylon and Willie, all country stuff.  Whatever my Dad liked, so that’s what I loved.  But then I got into Elvis and Kenny Rogers and then I loved Run DMC.  I just like good songs, I do not care where they come from. 

MTMS: When did you first try rapping?

COLT: Oh, I made a record when I was 13.  It was a rap album, I never really explored the singing part.  But I always loved writing and I spent a lot of time in music business trying to be something I wasn’t, trying to chase something that was ‘cool’.  When it worked for me was when I was honest with myself and who I was and how I grew up. 

 

MTMS: I know you’ve had a ton of guests on your albums, how do you go about picking or choosing which artist to work with?

COLT: I just let the songs take me.  Honestly, I let the songs guide me.  I never write a song and say I’m going to write it and this is the one I want to send to Keith Urban.  Luckily, everyone has said yes so far.

MTMS: And Keith Urban is on your new album and playing the banjo, how did that come about?

COLT: The first time I played that song for him, halfway through he started singing it.  And then when we got done, he said ‘you know a banjo part might be cool in there’ and I said that he could play the spoons if you want. 

MTMS: What made you change things up and do the hooks plus verses on some of the songs totally solo this time around? 

COLT: I wanted to grow as an artist, but not forget about how you got here.  It evolved and those couple of songs I felt like I could do it myself.  I wanted to push the vocals and see how it turned out. 

 


MTMS: I love the message in the new single, “Workin’ On”.

COLT: Yeah we are going to be shooting about a six to eight minute short film with that song that will be dealing with PTSD.  It is a very serious subject and that song is full of hope and pain.  Kind of like The House That Built Me or something like I Drive Your Truck.  Those songs are hard to write because they have a lot of pain, but also I lot of hope.  That really is how this song goes.  And when I figured out how I wanted to go about this, I reached out to a good friend of mine named Marcus Luttrell, who wrote “Lone Survivor”.  And he has the Lone Survivor Foundation, so we are going to have a PSA at the end of the video with Marcus and I and proceeds from the song will go to his foundation.  Those men and women who come home from fighting for us need us. 

MTMS: That is inspiring, the whole song is. 

COLT: A good friend in the business heard it and told me it is the new Cowboy In Me, which that blew me away because its one of my favorite all time songs.  But it is a song that at the end of the day that anyone can relate to because the person in the mirror is the one person you cannot get away from.  You have to deal with that person and every day you are trying to be a little better than the one before.  So, everyone can relate to it because you want to get better. 

MTMS: What is your handicap in golf?

COLT: I shot a 71 this morning. 


MTMS: What about Toby Keith?

COLT: He is pretty good.  I think he is about a 12.  He can play and he owns a golf course so he plays every day.  We have played about 3-4 times so far on this tour.  We are having some fun.

 

MTMS: Who is longer off the tee?

COLT: I am when I do it correctly, but he is a big guy.  He is strong and can get it out there for sure.  And he is a good guy, seriously.  He has been very nice to me and I constantly ask him for advice.  He is someone who has worked in the business for 25 years building this amazing career and fan base.  I make sure to respect that because a lot of the younger artists seem to think they have know everything.  I tell them, you need to spend time around someone like Toby, or Kix Brooks, or Ronnie Dunn.  It is a gift to play in front of all these fans and Toby has spent a career dedicated to this and these people.  And I think if I do good in a show maybe these fans can become my fans, so that’s how I look at it. 


MTMS: What is one things that when fans come to your show that would not expect from a Colt Ford show. 

COLT: I don’t think people know how good I can dance.  I can outdance all these boys at country music. 

MTMS: Even Luke Bryan? 

COLT: Oh, Luke cannot dance as good as me.  I don’t fall off the stage either, ha ha.  I mean, Luke may be in slightly better shape that I am in, but he cannot dance as well as me.  I’ve even challenged him to a dance off.  I can absolutely out dance him.