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Music Review: Colt Ford expands country’s parameters

Colt Ford, “Every Chance I Get” (Average Joe’s)

Colt Ford breaks the pre-conceptions Nashville once considered necessary for country music success. He records for his own independent label, he lacks leading-man looks and his songs incorporate rap and heavy metal.

Ford’s new album “Every Chance I Get” follows his breakthrough achievements of the last two years with duets with mainstream country stars and fellow on-the-edge independents. By merging guests Tim McGraw and Luke Bryan with hip-hoppers Nappy Roots and boozy country rockers Rehab, Ford sets out to prove that country music’s parameters can be wider and more diverse.

Part crowd cheerleader and part barroom preacher, Ford joins many other contemporary country rockers on a single-minded celebration of his southern roots, his family, his faith and his love of a good time. But he separates himself from the crowd through his emphasis on a rural-rap style.

Some of his anthems hype the over-worked imagery of pickup trucks, guns and flags, and his lyrical flow gets clumsy in spots. But Ford’s blend of modern musical styles, all delivered in an unmistakable southeastern twang, taps into a backwoods reality that only Jason Aldean communicates as well. And the big man is doing it in a style all his own.

CHECK OUT THIS TRACK: On “Waste Some Time” Ford boasts that he’s “a 300-pound redneck rebel.” By trading lines with members of Nappy Roots, and setting the song to the album’s funkiest groove, he illustrates that the words “redneck” and “rebel” have grown more inclusive than they once were.

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