Dustin Lynch’s ‘Ridin’ Roads’ Breathes New Life into Well-Trodden Subject Matter [LISTEN]
There's nothing particularly revelatory about a country song whose lyrics tell the story of a guy riding up and down small-town back roads in a truck with a pretty girl riding shotgun. For Dustin Lynch, however, a unique backstory and perspective bring a fresh element to classic country subject matter on the brand-new "Ridin' Roads." Press play above to listen to the track.
According to Billboard, Lynch got the idea for the song after a friend posted a group of videos of "a rager in his farm truck" to Snapchat. That got the wheels turning, but it took months of mulling over the idea for the country star to finish fleshing out the song's main character.
Listeners have met this character before. He was born with "Small Town Boy," the chart-topper that became a career-defining song for Lynch after its release in 2017. Even though he didn't write it -- Rhett Akins, Ben Hayslip and Kyle Fisherman did -- "Small Town Boy" immediately resonated with Lynch's memories of growing up in rural Tennessee, and his connections to small-town life.
That doesn't mean that the character Lynch developed is him, exactly. "I have a picture of that guy. I know exactly what he looks like. I know the truck he drives," he tells Billboard. "I know what's sitting in his console right now and in his cup holder. I don't specifically know that dude, but I have a picture of that guy because I know a lot of them in middle Tennessee. I'm now getting to tour all over the place, and I realize that those guys -- the small town boys -- are all over the world."
Of course, there are elements of Lynch's personality in the character. In one of "Ridin' Roads"' lyrics, he sings, "I don't know where we are / Because somebody stole the street signs / I'mma take my sweet time," a nod to a memory from his own high-school days that helps personalize the song's more common country tropes.
"That lyric was inspired by my cousins. They got caught with 30-something street signs in their attic when they were in high school," the singer remembers. "When you're riding roads, sometimes you want to impress your friends and the girls and steal street signs. That line literally came from that memory of them getting caught and going to jail. I think because that was a hard-earned memory, that's probably my favorite line."
If anything, the character in the song has more in common with a younger Lynch, one that existed before he moved to Nashville and launched his country career. "It ... reminds me of that guy in Tullahoma, Tenn. that I was and still wish I was to a certain extent -- being able to go back home and enjoy country roads and ride around with friends," he muses.
The song, which Lynch co-wrote with Ashley Gorley and Zach Crowell, is the title track of the singer's new EP, which comes out Friday (March 8). While he has not officially announced more new music to come, Lynch hints that something is on the way.
"This is one that's gonna kick off the next chapter of music," he adds. "It's a great song for the summertime."
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