Country artists Colt Ford and Demun Jones are preparing to come to Whiskey Jacques’ in Ketchum on Saturday, Oct. 25. “Crank up the beat, put AC/DC on, repeat. …” sang Ford. “We’re about to turn this cornfield into a club.”
Ford is a cultural force who is quickly growing from cult status to a household name. He has 1.5 million Facebook fans, 270,000 Twitter followers and 100 million YouTube views, and has sold more than a million albums and has millions of downloads.
The genre of country music is constantly changing—that’s part of what makes it special. Ford puts his own spin on country music and hip-hop rhythms. He compares his unique style to the spoken-word songs of Tex Williams (“Smoke, Smoke, Smoke That Cigarette”), Roger Miller (“Hot Rod Lincoln”), Johnny Cash (“A Boy Named Sue”) or C.W. McCall (“Convoy”).
“Tex Williams, C.W. McCall, Jerry Reed, Johnny Cash and Charlie Daniels are all performers who made recitation talking records,” Ford said. “That’s what I do. I’ve heard rappers say, ‘The first rap song I ever heard was ‘The Devil Went Down to Georgia.’”
Ford’s fifth studio album, “Thanks for Listening,” was released July 1. It debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard Country Chart. Special guests featured on the new album include Keith Urban, Willie Robertson, Lee Brice, Justin Moore, Randy Houser, Jarrod Niemann and Walker Hayes. Most recently, Ford has recently been on the road with Toby Keith in the “Shut Up and Hold On” tour.
“Music is a great outlet for expression and also has the ability to unite people,” Ford said. “In these times, there’s so much negatively out there. Music helps people forget and just get out there and have a good time. I’m blessed to be able to play music.”
Artist Demun Jones is opening for Ford. Jones’ first mainstream credit as a songwriter came on the title track of Ford’s popular “Ride Through the Country,” which also featured John Michael Montgomery and was among the first country rap hits.
“I’ve known Colt for some years,” Jones said. “I’m fully aware of the time and work he has put in to help create the space that a lot of us New Age country artists are existing in.”
Jones described his band’s music as “extreme crunk country redneck rap.” He wanted to bring something to country rap/hickhop that wasn’t there already.
The creative process, for Jones, often began with a drum beat or chord progression on the guitar, while each song’s story was influenced by characters—friends, family and actual folks from the heart of Georgia—and the experiences that Jones had come across throughout his life growing up in Jones County, Ga.
“Music allows me to express my love and excitement for life and display my creativity,” Jones said. “For society, it can help them escape, forget their worries. A song can be a little vacation—music is magic.”
Ford said he is excited to have Jones on board.
“Demun and I have been friends for years. He’s an amazing songwriter, singer and entertainer. I’m excited about introducing my fans to his music and having him on the tour.”
Jones added, “Dancing is the people’s way of saying thank you for the music. So if they dance, I did my job.”
Tickets can be bought online for $30 in advance at www.whiskeyjacques.com or for $35 at the door the day of show. Doors open at 9 p.m. For more information on the artists, go to www.coltford.com or www.demunjones.com.