|Occupation(s)||Musician, Lead guitar|
|Instruments||Electric guitar, slide guitar|
|Associated acts||Cry of Love, The Black Crowes, Gov't Mule, New Earth Mud, Joe Perry, Dixie Chicks, Peter Frampton, Gold Mountain Rebels, Trigger Hippy, Sheryl Crow|
Audley Freed is a guitarist from Burgaw, North Carolina. He started his professional career on the Southeastern club and fraternity circuit. He then formed the band Cry of Love, which was signed to Columbia Records and released the debut album Brother. The album spawned two number-one and two top-10 AOR hits, including “Peace Pipe,” named by Billboard as one of the “top 50 AOR songs of all time.” Following a second Columbia release, Diamonds and Debris, and another Freed-penned AOR hit, the band called it quits.
Soon after, Freed joined The Black Crowes on lead guitar. His tenure in the Crowes included tours in the U.S., Asia and Europe, recording the album Lions, and sharing the stage with Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page in a collaboration that led to the gold-record-certified Page–Crowes Live at the Greek album.
A frequent onstage guest at Gov't Mule shows, he co-wrote and recorded ”Life on the Outside,” a song on their album The Deep End, Volume 1, which featured Sly and the Family Stone bassist Larry Graham. Freed also appears in the companion documentary, Rising Low. Freed also plays guitar on the 2008 Gov't Mule release, Holy Haunted House, where they collaborate on a complete live rendition of Led Zeppelin's fifth album, Houses of the Holy. Freed is also a frequent guest guitarist at the annual Warren Haynes Presents The Christmas Jam, a benefit for Habitat for Humanity, taking place each December in Asheville, NC.
In 2004, Freed joined Black Crowes frontman Chris Robinson's solo project, New Earth Mud, co-writing and recording on the album This Magnificent Distance and playing lead guitar on the subsequent tour. Aerosmith lead guitarist Joe Perry tapped Freed as the guitarist for his band following the release of his self-titled solo album in 2005.
Freed has written songs recorded by rock band Train and country singer Gary Allan, among others. He is an active session player in Nashville. Other recordings include songs by The Wreckers, the Dixie Chicks, and Gavin DeGraw. He also toured with Peter Frampton.
Starting in May 2008, Freed toured with Jakob Dylan as part of the Gold Mountain Rebels trio, which also featured Wallflowers drummer Fred Eltringham, and former New Earth Mud bandmate George Reif on bass and background vocals. This tour supported the release of Dylan's solo album Seeing Things. On May 8, 2008, Dylan and the Gold Mountain Rebels appeared on Nissan Live Sets . Freed toured with Court Yard Hounds and the Dixie Chicks in January 2010.
He was a founding member of Trigger Hippy, featuring Joan Osborne, Steve Gorman, Jackie Greene, and Nick Govrik. Former member Jimmy Herring left the band before Greene and Osborne joined, due to commitments with Widespread Panic. Freed left the group in March 2012, with singer/songwriter Will Kimbrough replacing him.
As of 2014, Freed is a member of the band Big Hat.
In 2016, Freed played with Sheryl Crow and Grace Potter in a salute to Glenn Frey at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Ceremony.
- Larkin, Colin. The Guinness Encyclopedia of Popular Music. Guinness, 1995. 1006.
- Morris, Chris. "Black Crowes Take Wing on New Label." Billboard 110.49 (5 Dec 1998): 14.
- Ward Meeker. "Peter Stroud and Audley Freed Two Guys, Many Guitars, One Big Hat". Vintage Guitar. Retrieved 5 January 2016.