JJ Lawhorn and Colt Ford bring outlaw country to town

Music • JJ Lawhorn is following in Colt Ford's footsteps as a Nashville renegade.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Northern Utah is blessed to have top-shelf Nashville performers, such as Carrie Underwood, Lady Antebellum and Brad Paisle, all making regular visits. But when was the last time audiences were treated to the outlaw side of country?

That will happen on Thursday, when renegades Colt Ford and JJ Lawhorn perform at The Westerner. Ford is the idiosyncratic rapper who co-wrote Jason Aldean's equally idiosyncratic No. 1 country hit "Dirt Road Anthem." And 19-year-old Virginian Lawhorn is following in Ford's footsteps as someone who isn't afraid to show some edge and speak his mind — to hell with the consequences.

Lawhown grew up on a tobacco farm that his family has owned for generations, but they also treasured the healing power of music. His mother used to be the only white woman in all-black choirs in Southern churches, he says.

Like Ford, Lawhorn was a proud supporter of Mitt Romney's presidential bid, with the right to bear many arms an important position for the musician, who is an avid hunter and fisher. "My daddy used to say, if you don't stand for something, you'll fall for anything," Lawhorn said.

David Burger —

Speaking their minds

When • Thursday, Nov. 8, 9 p.m.

Where • The Westerner, 360 S. Redwood Road, West Valley City

Tickets • $12 at SmithsTix