Watch the Free Bends online guitar lesson by Corey Congilio from 30 Modern Country Guitar Licks You MUST Know
In the mid 2000's, country music was clearly becoming a place where melodic rock guitar playing could live. I'll mention how this lick reminds me of something Neil Schon of Journey might play. One of the main contributors to this type of playing is Dan Huff. Dan Huff has produced hundreds of records and is an absolute monster guitar player. He and many others over the years have created super melodic solos in only a few bars of music! That is the trick to this music. How do you come up with something memorable in only a few measures. A lick like this one will hopefully help point you in the right direction.
The tone for this lick is coming from a Matchless amp model. I used a good amount of drive, delay, and reverb on this. I would recommend a guitar with humbucker pickups as well.