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

Sinner CD review - Sinner
You hear all the time these days how politicians are 'evolving' on particular issues. They may have felt one way about a topic many years ago, but - nearly miraculously - they've since evolved. Aaron Lewis is the former singer for Staind, a noisy, pained hard rock band. But it's been a while since Lewis created alternative rock and roll. With "Sinner," he's truly evolved, musically. This is not some cynical, Alan Jackson gone country moment, either. »»»
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: Just another Saturday night for Paisley – Crank up the music, especially the guitar, combine rock and country on the more traditional side on a bunch of generally fun songs, and that's just another Saturday night for Brad Paisley. Paisley pretty much demonstrated his sentiments of how the night would go, starting with the commercially ready "Crushin It" and "American Saturday Night.... »»»
Concert Review: Jinks, Morgan make Outlaw Country sound pretty darn good – For those who thought the Outlaw Country movement of the '70s is long gone dead, think again. That was made crystal clear in the double-barreled action of Cody Jinks from Texas and Whitey Morgan & the 78's from Michigan. They are like minded, soul brothers, who happen to love folks like Merle Haggard and Waylon Jennings.... »»»
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

The Earls of Leicester rattle and roar Something old is new again. The Earls of Leicester, fresh from their first release in late 2014 and the IBMA Entertainer of the Year Award for 2015, followed that remarkable success with "Rattle and Roar." The Earls of Leicester play the songs popularized by, and in the musical style of Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs.... »»»
Watkins does all the right things on "Young in All the Wrong Ways" In the nine years since Nickel Creek declared itself on indefinite hiatus, violinist/vocalist Sara Watkins has been relentlessly busy. She discovered a new pathway for her harmonic gifts with Sarah Jarosz and Aoife O'Donovan in the vocal trio I'm With Her.... »»»
Lonely Heartstring Band navigates "Deep Waters" Four years after forming in Boston and a year after receiving their first major award (an IBMA Momentum nod), when most bands might be expected to have two or three already in circulation, the Lonely Heartstring Band finally has its first full-length CD release "Deep Waters" (Rounder) out on the street.... »»»
Bush tells the story Sam Bush is back with a new record, "Storyman," not that he ever went anywhere. Identified with The Telluride Bluegrass Festival, which he has played in one form or another for each year but one, he helped define the new grass sound.... »»»
Ladies and gentlemen, The Infamous Stringdusters Nearly 10 years on, The Infamous Stringdusters have carved out a singular place for themselves in the bluegrass/jamgrass world. The Stringdusters tour aggressively, are fixtures on the festival circuit and released several... »»»
Sunset Motel CD review - Sunset Motel
With "Buckaroo" off Reckless Kelly's "Sunset Motel" the band gives us one of the best hurtin' songs in recent memory. "You were my angel/I was your buckaroo," they tell us with deep regret. And after all the booze has worn off, the cold, harsh facts of life come clearly into view. "Now that I'm sober/I wish you were home." »»»
Redemption & Ruin CD review - Redemption & Ruin
Charles Baudelaire and Verbal Kint separately and astutely noted that the devil's greatest trick is in convincing the world that he doesn't exist. There could be a corollary concerning the reality of The Devil Makes Three; the trio exists in so many different musical forms that they may well have talked us into believing they're a dozen distinct bands when they are in fact just one single, extraordinarily talented unit. »»»
Sinner CD review - Sinner
You hear all the time these days how politicians are 'evolving' on particular issues. They may have felt one way about a topic many years ago, but - nearly miraculously - they've since evolved. Aaron Lewis is the former singer for Staind, a noisy, pained hard rock band. But it's been a while since Lewis created alternative rock and roll. »»»
Unseen CD review - Unseen
With "Back in my Day," off The Handsome Family's "Unseen" album, Brett Sparks sings Rennie Sparks' remembrances of how life was so much better back when she was a kid. It's an odd and unusual instance of nostalgia from this country-folk husband and wife duo because this pair usually gives us tragic Southern gothic tales in song. "Unseen," then, is not so much happier than past efforts, as it is slightly less sad. »»»
The Complete Trio CD review - The Complete Trio
While we should celebrate the flawless beauty of this collection, there's a sad reality that Dolly Parton, Linda Ronstadt and Emmylou Harris will never sing together again because of Ronstadt's battle with Parkinson's disease. Rather than dwell on what will never be, essentially the re-release of the trio's 1987 stunning debut and the 1999 followup, "Trio II," gives us that third album - essentially a trio of records now - a collection of 20 songs. »»»
Original Traditional CD review - Original Traditional
For more than 20 years now, Blue Highway has combined a love for pure bluegrass sounds with adventurous songwriting from a core trio who are both writers and singers. Add the stellar musicianship they're known for, and it's no wonder they are one of the most original groups in their genre. »»»