by Marcus K. Dowling
“Make music you love for the people that love you.”
Country crooner Jimmie Allen counts this as the best piece of advice he received from his friend and dearly-departed country icon Charley Pride. One listen to “Freedom Was A Highway” — Allen’s new superstar duet with Brad Paisley — shows that this advice was well heard.
“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 / Freedom was a highway,” Allen sings in a tone yearning for less complicated American days.
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Allen’s big breakthrough could be one hit away.
To-date 2018’s “Best Shot,” was a platinum-selling debut single. His 2019 hit “Make Me Want To” was a solid, gold-selling follow-up. As well, he’s received nominations from CMT, the CMA Awards, and the Academy of Country Music Awards rewarding his work. Though 2020 was a relatively quiet year for Allen, both “Freedom Was A Highway,” as well as his recent social media tease of “No Limits” — a track with rap-country hybrid artist and CMT Listen Up singer Blanco Brown — shows that 2021 will be a busy year with great potential for continued career growth.
After a year wherein Allen performed alongside Pride at the CMA Awards in the legend’s last performance before his mournful passing, it appears he’s ready to assume the torch passed to him and dive long and deep into universal pop-country appeal.