Americana artist Lindsay Lou has reached back to her bluegrass roots for a new single, Freedom, written and performed as a duet with Billy Strings.

Back in their salad days, she and Billy lived near each other in east Nashville and were part of a vibrant young artistic community before either were headlining artists. Lindsay had been part of a bluegrass group for several years with her ex-husband, Josh Rilko, Lindsay Lou & The Flatbellys, and we featured several of their releases here at Bluegrass Today.

She says that Freedom came from a session after moving south, with inspiration from a timeless literary classic.

“Billy and I both transplanted to Nashville from Michigan and wrote this song on a rare snowy day in Nashville while we were neighbors on Petway Ave. We wanted to write something of our own that felt like the bluegrass standard, Daniel Prayed, to sing. There are a lot of references to Kalil Gibran’s writings in The Prophet ‘On Freedom’ in the lyrics, which I’m always reading and referencing because it grounds me in the same way an old traditional song does.”

Lindsay was so pleased with their demo of the song, that she sought to recreate that vibe when they tracked it for her upcoming EP, You Thought You Knew

“When Billy and I wrote Freedom at the table, he used a cheap old Silvertone catalog guitar given to him by Fanny’s House of Music in town. I wanted this recording to have the same sound as the demo we made right after we wrote it, so I tracked down the guitar and brought it to the studio for our session.”

The resulting recording has a wonderful gritty sound in an old time call-and-response style that will resonate with fans of traditional bluegrass, and remind listener that both can get down on some grass.

You Thought You Knew is something of diversion from Lou’s contemporary musical direction, returning to an old time and grassy sound, which she hopes won’t alienate followers of her more experimental sound.

“I hope my long-time fans will appreciate the EP as a sort of peace offering before I take another jaunt into the exploratory world of my multifaceted musical identity.”

Freedom is available now from popular download and streaming services online.