Dustin Lynch channels his youth in the infectious new single “Ridin’ Roads,” premiering on Billboard below. Inspired by a series of videos his friend posted to social media while having “a rager in his farm truck,” the singer recalls bringing the idea for the song to co-writers Ashley Gorley and Zach Crowell last April.
His friend’s Snapchat provided the images he and his co-writers conjured up in the writing session, but they didn’t finish the song that day. Instead, Lynch lived with “Ridin’ Roads” for several months and shared the chorus and a verse with friends on the lake that summer. Receiving a positive reaction, Lynch and his co-writers met again in August to finish the song.
“It’s a song that makes so much sense for me,” he tells Billboard. “Writing with intention of what you know. [‘Ridin’ Roads’ is] right down the lane of what this ‘Small Town Boy’ character says and does. This song fits that guy.”
Lynch is referring to his 2017 Billboard Country Airplay No. 1 “Small Town Boy.” It’s this character, he explains, that he has been writing music for.
“I have a picture of that guy. I know exactly what he looks like. I know the truck he drives. I know what’s sitting in his console right now and in his cup holder,” he says. “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.”
He adds, “I love the message of the song. It goes back to ‘Small Town Boy’ and reminds me of that guy in Tullahoma, Tennessee, that I was and still wish I was to an extent -- being able to go back home and enjoy country roads and ride around with friends.”
The song’s vivid imagery paints the picture of a couple’s laidback night driving through the countryside. Additional backing vocals from Sarah Buxton propel the already catchy track to the next level.
“Ridin’ roads that don’t nobody go down/ Little trip through the country side/ These 38’s makin’ them world go 'round/ I hit a curve just to make you slide/ The only light is a flashin’ yellow/ The only thing that I want is your kiss/ I’m lovin’ nothin’ to do with you baby/ Just ridin’ roads on a night like this,” he sings on the chorus.
While Lynch is well aware that there are many country songs about riding around in a truck with a girl, he aims to make his storyline different by adding in a line inspired by his cousins. At one point he sings of stolen street signs: “I don’t know where we are/ ‘Cause somebody stole the street signs/ I’mma take my sweet time,” he croons.
“That lyric was inspired by my cousins. They got caught with 30-something street signs in their attic when they were in high school,” Lynch recalls with a laugh. “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 is probably my favorite line.”
“Ridin’ Roads” is the first taste of new music for Lynch since 2018’s “Good Girl.” The single is featured on his new EP, also titled Ridin’ Roads, which will be released Friday.
“This is one that’s gonna kick off the next chapter of music,” Lynch hints, adding that his fourth studio album is expected later this year. “It’s a great song for the summertime.”
Lynch will join Thomas Rhett on the singer’s upcoming Canadian leg of the Life Changes Tour in April before kicking off the Very Hot Summer Tour in May as direct support.