Kolt Barber is a refreshing throwback to the rough-and-ready American cowboy who can work the fields by day and fire up the performance stage at night. Like many of his peers, the native of Valdosta, Georgia, aims to bring traditional, straight-up country back to the forefront. And he seems to have the voice and the down-home credibility to do just that. Barber took some time during Country Radio Seminar to visit with S&E Nashville to talk about his music, his country roots and an exciting upcoming tour.
Barber shares that he’s been singing since the age of 11 or 12 years old. “I would sing to the cows when I was working with the livestock at home,” he says with a laugh. “If they ran away, I was in trouble. But they never did.” He got his education in traditional country from his grandfather, who had a wide range of favorites. “Granddaddy listened to Merle Haggard, Johnny Cash, Vern Gosdin, Conway Twitty, people like that, and that’s where I got interested in country,” Barber recalls. “I picked up on Keith Whitley later on and he was one of my favorites. It really just seemed like a natural fit for me to be in country music.”
Barber’s music reflects the cowboy lifestyle, whether it’s about competing in the rodeo or just plain hardcore American values. Previous singles like “Cowboy” and “Send the Rain” stand as examples of those themes. “A lot of the songs I write are about that way of life,” Barber tells S&E Nashville. He’ll further combine his dual passions of rodeo and country music in his upcoming tour. Barber is preparing to launch the American Cowboy Showdown Tour, geared toward the agricultural, ranching and trucking communities. “We have a concert following the rodeo events,” Barber explains. “We’ll be going all over the country.” The tour kicks off April 3rd in Nashville.
Currently, Barber has a new single to promote as well as an album of some previous favorites. The single, “Set the Night on Fire,” is a bit different for the burly singer, drifting away from the cowboy and rodeo themes. “It’s more of a sexy love song, so it’s a little outside the wheelhouse,” Barber laughs. “If you have ever truly loved someone, this is for those people. It’s a little different for me. I think people will be surprised when they hear it. We’re very excited about it.”
Also on the horizon is the new album, titled “Replay.” The album is a collection of several of his earlier songs. “We packaged some songs together and put those into an album,” Barber says. “Replay” will be available through Barber’s website and other platforms on March 30th.
Down the road, Barber has a few stated goals that he’d like to accomplish. “I would like to play the Grand Ole Opry one day,” he says. “That would make my family proud. And I just want to keep the traditional country going. I would like to do that for the industry.” Of course, the best way for fans to get to know Barber is to attend a show. He promises a rollicking good time of straight-up country and a fast-moving stage show. “It’s a great party,” Barber says. “We play everything live, we don’t play to tracks. It’s old school, the way it’s supposed to be. I would just love for everyone to come to a show and check us out!”
For more on Kolt Barber, please visit his website and follow him on social media.