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Colt Ford coming to Scottsbluff

April 9, 2017 GMT

Country music artist Colt Ford said he’s slept about two hours over the last 38.

He’s in Nashville, Tennessee, getting everything set for the release of his sixth record, “Love Hope Faith,” which will be out May 5. Ford said the new record is, in his opinion, his best to date.

“I pushed myself as an artist, and I’ve sang more than on any of my previous records,” Ford said. “So much so that some people don’t even recognize that it’s me, but I’ve still kept it true and authentic for the fans who are loyal.”

On Saturday, April 15, he’ll be in the valley to meet those fans when he plays at Shots Bar and Grill in Scottsbluff.

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Ford got his start as a professional golfer but switched his interests to music. His do-it-yourself approach to promoting has brought him significant success — his previous album, “Thanks For Listening,” debuted at #1 on the Billboard Independent Album Chart, and #2 on the Billboard Country Chart.

In spite of his accomplishments through a style that merges hip-hop and country music elements, Ford rejects the idea that he’s blending genres.

“If you go back in history of country music, recitation (talking records), existed before the term ‘rap’ was even invented,” Ford said. “You go back to songs like ‘Smoke Smoke Smoke that Cigarette’ by Tex Williams, or ‘Hot Rod Lincoln’ by Ray Price — it’s always been around.

“That’s what I’ve always loved, and I was better at that to me than singing, though I’ve been pushing myself more in that direction — I didn’t set out to blend anything, I just wanted to make the best songs I could make that felt right to me.”

Ford said the diversity of sounds in country music has been positive for artists and fans alike.

“The music is best when the net is the widest,” he said. “There are people who are ‘die-hard’ this, or ‘purist’ that — they’ve got all these different names for stuff — bro-country or whatever.

“I don’t really know what any of that means, I just think it’s people coming up with (something) to say.

“Music changes, it evolves, and it’s all part of it,” Ford said.

Ford doesn’t place much stock in the casual critics, however. Instead, he encourages people to keep an open mind.

“That’s why I don’t like the whole ‘country rap’ thing,” he said. “It makes somebody turn off to it before they even give it a chance.

“All I’m saying is give something a fair listen, and if you don’t like it, I’m totally fine with that, but to just totally blanket cover something — I don’t understand doing that with anything in life.”

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While Ford said it’s sometimes fun to headline big stages in front of huge crowds, the small towns are where he’s most comfortable.

“I’m never going to forget where I came from, and a lot of artists today haven’t gone out and earned it,” he said. “They want a show, and I’m not hating that, but be thankful and humble that you got to do that.”

He said the tours through small towns help him keep everything in perspective.

“I play music for a living. I’m not a neurosurgeon. I don’t take myself too seriously,” he said. “I’m so lucky to be able to do this and that people care about it.”

It’s the people who live in those small towns that really matter to Ford.

“A lot of artists forget the little small towns and bars and clubs,” he said. “Some people can’t afford the big shows because the prices on tickets are ridiculous.

“And that’s why I’m always gonna play little small towns. That’s where I grew up at, and that’s what I still love.”

Tickets to the show are $20 and are available now at Shots Bar and Grill. For more information, visit https://www.facebook.com/Shotsbarandgrill/ or call 308-575-0799.