Filled with teenage dreams and wind-in-your-face optimism, Allen co-wrote the track with fellow tunesmith’s Ash Bowers and Matt Rogers. It features a cruising, modern country-rock sound and hard-driving rhythm — plus a full-throttle guitar solo from Paisley — and the all-star partners say they still remember feeling the track’s emotional heartbeat. When all they wanted to do was chase the horizon, and paradise was just a tank of gas away.
“When I was writing this song with my co-writers, I imagined myself driving down my favorite roads in Delaware. This song takes me back to simpler moments such as an innocent, childhood crush on the next-door neighbor or feeling freedom in the wind as you drive with the windows down. I’ve loved this song from the creation,” says Jimmie Allen in an official statement. “I’m a huge admirer of Brad Paisley. I love what he brings to music and I had to have him bring that same magic to this song. I’m humbled to have him join me on this song — he brought the Freedom to the Highway.”
“I’m a fan of Jimmie, not only as a musician but also as a person, and I was honored when he asked me to join him on the song,” Paisley adds. “It’s a magical combination — it doesn’t sound like a typical record for me at all and when I come in, I try my best not to ruin Jimmie’s song. I use my guitar to make a record sort of sound like I’m on it, even before you hear me sing, and I love this guitar solo. I’m really proud to be a part of ‘Freedom Was a Highway’ and I’m excited for people to hear it.”
“When the town was the whole world / And love was the girl next door / Soundtrack was a song in the dark / I miss those days when our dreams were there for chasin’ / But time was better wasted / We were summer young and livin’ for a Friday / And freedom was a highway,” goes the chorus.
“Freedom Was a Highway” first appeared on Allen’s 2020 EP, Bettie James, and it will now be shipped to country radio for airplay starting February 1. Bettie James also included Allen’s “This Is Us” duet with Noah Cyrus, and the Delaware native broke out with back-to-back Number Ones, “Best Shot” and “Make Me Want To.”