Audley Freed is a guitarist. 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 No. 1 and two Top Ten 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.
Recent years have found Freed collaborating with some of today's most accomplished musicians. A frequent on-stage 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.
In early 2003, Freed joined guitarist-singer Alvin Youngblood Hart and his Cry Of Love bandmate Robert Kearns in the rock quartet Job Cain; both played on Hart's 2005 Motivational Speaker album.
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 guitarist for his band following the release of his self-titled solo album in 2005.
In 2006, Freed joined the Dixie Chicks for their Accidents and Accusations tour, which took them to the U.S., Canada, Europe, and Australia and culminated in a performance at the 2007 Grammys.
Freed has written songs recorded by rock band Train and country singer Gary Allan, among others. He is an active session player in Nashville. Recent 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 oh Sheryl Crow's band and the band Big Hat.