Watch Chris Bandi Perform ‘Free’ During ‘The Backyard Sessions’ [Exclusive]

Chris Bandi recently fulfilled a life-long dream with the release of his self-titled debut EP. Produced by Bandi alongside Ash…


Lauren Jo Black

| Posted on

June 4, 2020


6:25 am

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Chris Bandi; Photo by Matthew Berinato

Chris Bandi recently fulfilled a life-long dream with the release of his self-titled debut EP. Produced by Bandi alongside Ash Bowers, the seven-song project includes Bandi’s breakout debut single, “Man Enough Now” and showcases his unique brand of country music.

To celebrate the release of the EP, Bandi created “The Backyard Sessions,” a series of acoustic performance videos showcasing each track on the EP as well as a cover song. Today, Bandi’s performance of the song “Free” is debuting exclusively on Country Now.

“”Free’ was written by Allison Veltz Cruz, Zach Kale, and Connie Harrington and I remember the first day I got that email with that song sitting in my inbox. Listening to it with my windows down, speakers cranked all the way up and just knowing that that was something that just had to be on the EP,” Bandi recalls. “It mixes R&B with country. The lyrics are so amazing, and the melody is just so fun to sing.”

Check out Bandi’s performance of “Free” from “The Backyard Sessions” below.

Chris Bandi is quickly making a name for himself in country music. The Missouri native began writing songs in high school and started to plot his move to Nashville while attending Ole Miss. After graduating, Bandi took a leap of faith and relocated to Music City. His talents quickly caught the attention of music industry heavy hitters and he eventually landed a publishing deal with BMG and a RECORDS label deal, which is a joint venture label between Barry Weiss and Sony Music Entertainment.

“It feels incredible to be able to put out my debut EP,” Bandi recently shared. “I’ve been saying since I moved to Nashville that we were going to have something out and to be able to do that and have songs that I feel so passionate about is a feeling that I can’t even really describe. I am so excited…so pumped…and I cannot wait for ya’ll to hear it.”

Click HERE to stream Chris Bandi’s debut EP.

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Lauren Jo Black

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Lauren Jo Black

Lauren Jo Black, a University of Central Florida graduate, has immersed herself in the world of country music for over 15 years. In 2008, she co-founded CountryMusicIsLove, eventually selling it to a major record label in 2015. Following the rebranding of the website to Sounds Like Nashville, Black served as Editor-in-Chief for two and a half years. Currently, she assumes the role of Editor-in-Chief at Country Now and oversees Country Now’s content and digital footprint. Her extensive experience also encompasses her previous role as a Country Music Expert Writer for and her work being featured on She’s been spotlighted among Country Aircheck’s Women of Influence and received the 2012 Rising Star Award from the University of Central Florida. Black also spent time in front of the camera as host of Country Now Live, which brought live music directly to fans in 2021 when the majority of concerts were halted due to the pandemic. During this time, she hosted 24 weeks of live concerts via Country Now Live on Twitch with special guests such as Lady A, Dierks Bentley, Jordan Davis, Brett Young, and Jon Pardi. Over the course of her career, she has had the privilege of conducting interviews with some of the industry’s most prominent stars, including Reba McEntire, Blake Shelton, Luke Combs, Carrie Underwood, Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert, Lainey Wilson, and many others. Lauren Jo Black is a longtime member of the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music.