Kickstart Country Standard Time to Nashville
 Sign up for newsletter
 

Staind's Aaron Lewis goes country

Tuesday, November 30, 2010 – Staind front man Aaron Lewis grew up with country, but you wouldn't know it from his hard rocking band, which has enjoyed hits with "Outside, It's Been Awhile and So Far Away.

But now the New Englander is returning to roots. Lewis is releasing a five-song EP, "Town Line," through Stroudavarious Records sometime in February.

The first single and video, Country Boy, makes its debut on CMT.com on Wednesday, Dec. 1 with a TV premiere on Monday, Dec. 6. George Jones and Charlie Daniels and Chris Young lend their talents.

The single will be available digitally on Tuesday, Dec. 7.

Lewis will be on the road starting Jan. 15, 2011 for a run of solo acoustic dates.

"George Jones and Charlie Daniels are two of the genre's legends, and Chris Young represents the new regime," said Lewis. "It's definitely a personal, autobiographical song, and I'm very thankful that they all participated."

The video features Jones, Daniels and Young in the studio and draws from Lewis' family archives. "The video really is me. This is probably the most I've ever participated in any video that I've been involved with. I added a lot to the mix to tell the story."

Growing up in rural Vermont, the singer/songwriter spent summers with his World War II veteran grandfather hunting and fishing.

"Country was the background music to my childhood," Lewis said. "My grandfather listened to Merle Haggard, Hank Williams, Hank Williams Jr. and all of the greats. When Staind did our first tour with Kid Rock in 1999, I rode the bus with him on a couple occasions, and we bonded over this music. I haven't been able to let go of it since then."

James Stroud and Lewis co-produced the music. "The country accompaniment naturally complements my acoustic guitar playing," he said. "These songs are country in the sense of classic Americana. They're simple, understated and founded on quality songwriting. If you put a country accompaniment to any of the songs that I've written over the years on my acoustic, all of them would work as country tunes. When a song comes from an acoustic, it can go in any direction you want it to go. I always write and play the same way. The only difference here is the accompaniment."

The song Massachusetts is a love letter for his home state. "I live in the sticks of Massachusetts," said Lewis. "I wrote the song sitting on the front steps of my house. In the spring, the peepers get so loud outside. When they come out, they bring on the night. It's chilling and familiar, and I've heard that sound my whole life. That's how I know I'm home."

Lewis re-recorded Tangled Up in You, a ballad from Staind's sixth album, "The Illusion of Progress." "The song was already a little bit country in term of its flavor with the slide guitar and the pedal steel," he said. "We brought it further down that road."

"A lifetime friendship was formed between James and I while we were doing these songs," said Lewis. "As the head of the label and producer, he possessed an incredible amount of faith and belief in this project. It just made sense on so many levels."

"We just immediately developed a very intense musical and personal connection," said Stroud. "I'd always loved the expressiveness and intensity of Aaron's voice, but from the very first day in the studio, we hit it off in an entirely special way."

Tour dates are:

Jan. 15 Uncasville, CT Mohegan Sun

Jan. 28 North Las Vegas, NV Aliante Casino

Jan. 29 Temecula, CA Pechanga Casino

Feb. 18-19 Atlantic City, NJ The Borgata

Febl. 20 Westbury, NY Westbury Music Fair

March 3 Detroit, MI Motor City Casino

March 4-5 Verona, NY Turning Stone Casino

March 17 Snoqualmie, WA Snoqualmie Casino Ballroom

March 18 Reno, NV Silver Legacy Resort & Casino

March 19 Las Vegas The Joint - Hard Rock Hotel & Casino

March 26 Walker, MN Northern Lights

April 14 Elizabeth, IN Horseshoe Southern Indiana

April 15 Robinsonville, MS Horseshoe Tunica - Bluesville

April 16 Biloxi, MS Hard Rock Biloxi

April 21 Council Bluffs, IA Harrah's Council Bluffs

April 22 N. Kansas City, MO Harrah's North Kansas City

More news for Aaron Lewis

CD reviews for Aaron Lewis

The Road CD review - The Road
Who would have ever thought that, in looking for one of the next more promising acts in country, we'd be turning to none other than seasoned rock and roller, Aaron Lewis, of Staind fame? Add to that the fact that Lewis hails from Massachusetts, a far throw from the Mason-Dixon Line, and you're faced with quite a head-scratcher. Yet, on his 2010 EP "Town Line" the artist showed that he had the right stuff and his first full-length country release, "The Road," delivers »»»
Town Line CD review - Town Line
If you take the hard rock power chords away from singer/songwriter Aaron Lewis and replace these strums with steel guitar lines, you don't end up with anything all that different. Producer James Stroud has done a good job bringing Lewis' songs to life on this 7-song EP (with the title track featured a whole three different times, in slightly different variations), but he has not transformed the man into a Darius Rucker-like country singer - yet. Whether Lewis is complaining about the »»»
Editorial: Walking the talk – When names like Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Waylon and the Hag are invoked, you're talking hard core country. These are the touchstones of country , the guys who made country music what it was and still is (or maybe can be). When these folks would sing about being down-and-out and the rough-and-tumble, they knew of what they were singing about. Fast forward a few years to the country singers of today. »»»
Concert Review: Fogerty lives up to his past – Once upon a time, John Fogerty eschewed any association with the band that made him famous, Creedence Clearwater Revival. But time, which changed a long time ago, heals everything apparently. Not only is Fogerty playing CCR songs, he makes those overwhelmingly the cornerstone of his very fine, invigorating night of music that were the soundtracks of... »»»
Concert Review: With Turnpike Troubadors, there's lots of good reason – The appearance of Turnpike Troubadours was a bit curious. The Oklahoma Red Dirt music troupe has not released an album since 2012's "Goodbye Normal Street." So, it's not as if they're pushing new product. They also had never even played Boston before. In fact, lead singer Evan Felker said he had never set foot in Beantown period.... »»»
Subscribe to Country News Digest Country News Digest      Follow Country Standard Time on twitter CST      Visit Country Standard Time on Facebook CST

Elsewhere in the news

Currently at the CST blogs

Kickstart Country Standard Time to Nashville
Trampled by Turtles get wild Trampled By Turtles is an indie folk group, an alt.-country band or a bluegrass act - depending on how you choose to look at them. Perhaps it's best to view the outfit as the ultimate combo platter consisting of just about everything that's good about American music. They play wonderfully, yet they also write intelligent songs that draw everyone from Townes Van Zandt to Nirvana to Ralph Stanley. It's all good, and some (or all) of these influences can be spotted in most of Trampled By Turtles' enjoyable sounds.... »»»
Don't try labeling Parker Millsap If you move in alt.-country/Americana circles, you simply cannot get away from the name Parker Millsap. He's certainly one of the biggest buzz artists of 2014. Better still, his self-titled album lives up to all the hype. He's a smart songwriter and a passionate singer and is essential listening for anybody looking for high quality contemporary music. Millsap also creates music appealing to a wide variety of musical tastes. You can make a case that he's a country guy, but you can also hear a lot of blues and folk. And if you attempt to put a label on him, he'll quickly tear it right off.... »»»
Simpson gets metamodern What a difference a year can make. Last year, Sturgill Simpson was overly anxious about the arrival of his debut album, "High Top Mountain." This year, Simpson is simultaneously anticipating the birth of his debut child and his just-released sophomore album, "Metamodern Sounds in Country Music," and his mood couldn't be more relaxed and joyous.... »»»
Mary Sarah builds "Bridges" What is not expected is for a virtually unknown artist, turning 19 on the day before her album release and finishing high school during the recording of the album, to be the featured artist, with Dolly Parton, Vince Gill and the late Ray Price lending not only their vocals, but also their most-beloved standards in country music. Texas-turned-Tennessee songbird Mary Sarah Gross - Mary Sarah is her stage name - saw that dream realized on her sophomore album "Bridges."... »»»
The Secret Sisters put a new one down In October 2010, The Secret Sisters released their down home country meets the Everly Brothers debut to much acclaim. Positive reviews ensued. Having T Bone Burnett executive produce your introduction to the music world didn't hurt. Laura and Lydia Rogers hit the road hard, opening dates for the likes of Ray LaMontagne. The Rogers sisters may not have enjoyed any hits from their self-titled disc, but they put their name on the map. ... »»»
Do You Know Me: A Tribute to George Jones CD review - Do You Know Me: A Tribute to George Jones
Every male country singer worth his salt has been influenced by George Jones who died in April 2013; if not vocally, at the very least because of respect for country traditions and love of a fine song. Few, however, have the skills to sing as much like Jones as Sammy Kershaw can. If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, Kershaw has that whole sincerity thing down pat. »»»
Wild Animals CD review - Wild Animals
Trampled By Turtles, the five-piece band from Duluth, Minn., combines bluegrass, folk and country into an enjoyable mixture. This act, which has been known to cover such unexpected artists as the extremely somber Radiohead in concert, is gradually moving away from its speedy bluegrass leanings and incorporating much more moody instrumental blends into its music. "Wild Animals'" title track, for instance, opens up this 11-song album with a slow, dirge-y piece. »»»
Bridges CD review - Bridges
Every artist has that dream duet they'd love to perform. They're fans too and long to share the stage with the very artists who helped to inspire their dreams and while it happens for some, it's surely not enough. And with that being the case, newcomer Mary Sarah needs to count her blessings as her debut record, "Bridges," finds the artist trading duets with a virtual "who's who" of country music greats. »»»
I'm A Song CD review - I'm A Song
In promoting "I'm a Song," Jim Lauderdale put out a satirical video with his band in which he dons a trucker's cap and celebrates the creation of "bro-grass." The good-natured video served to show how Lauderdale doesn't fit in with what's most popular in Nashville these days, but listen to his latest - a wonderful, 20-song album - and you know the in-demand songwriter certainly can't be that unpopular.  »»»
Remedy CD review - Remedy
"Remedy" is easily recognizable as an OCMS recording, but this time around, the band decided to push their musical boundaries a little bit more. The 13 tracks are once again roots based, but they feel refreshed. Maybe it is the departure of Willie Watson, whose presence on past releases was always at the forefront. Maybe it is the recording return of a rejuvenated Critter Fuqua. Whatever the reason, the group recorded their most invigorating album in years.  »»»