A divorced man who struggled to spend time with his young child was inspired to put his experience into a song. That man is Wyatt Durrette, a member of the Zac Brown Band. Durrette had gone through what he considered as the saddest point of his life – being divorced from his wife and keeping his relationship with his young and innocent son unbroken. So, even if it would mean driving from Atlanta to Augusta, Georgia just want them to see each other, he’ll make time for it. It has been almost a year that Durrette was doing the long travel before he thought of writing a song about it.
The Writing of the Song
Durrette revealed that the song began on Interstate 20 in Georgia. He showed what he started with the band’s vocalist, Zac Brown, who has been there to offer him company. Unknowingly, the latter had gone through the same situation, although his experience was on the other side of the story. He’s a son of divorced parents and lives with his father. This made it easier for him to help Durrette in writing the song. As the song displays much resonance with Brown, he can’t help but sing it from the heart. Apart from helping his bandmate write the song, Brown was also there to sympathize with him during his most difficult times.
In an interview, Durrette explained that through this song, he’ll be able to express his love, care, and respect for his son regardless of what happened to him and his wife,
“I now refer ‘Highway 20 Ride’ as a love song to my kid to let him know I’ll always be there no matter how far we travel. I just try to give him love and respect and let him know he is loved. No matter what, [his mother and I] are both there because we care about him. He didn’t do anything to deserve it. Through love, communication, and respect for each other, it can be okay.”
Durette also co-wrote the band’s other hits including “Colder Weather.”
A Few Facts of the Song
“Highway 20 Ride” was released as the fourth single of Zac Brown Band’s first major label studio album called The Foundation. The song was also the third single from the platinum album that reached the country music chart’s top. Moreover, the song made Zac Brown Band the first group to have four singles reaching the Top 10 from the same album since Rascal Flatts in 2002. Also, “Highway 20 Ride” became the second No. 1 country song with a title having a highway number in it. Ricky Skaggs’ “Highway 40 Blues” was the first which became a chart-topper in 1983.
Watch the Zac Brown Band’s live performance of “Highway 20 Ride” below.
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