Duplicating platinum-plus rock 'n' roll success in the country world isn't easy, and Staind's Aaron Lewis will be the first to acknowledge that.
But the singer and songwriter had a gold certified hit with "Country Boy" in 2011, as well as chart-topping EP with "Town Line." And he'll be the first to credit a strong ally, producer and executive James Stroud, who brought Lewis to his Stroudavarious label for "Town Line" and continued to work with Lewis on his 2012 debut full-length "The Road," which debuted at No. 7 on the country charts.
"It was nice to be recognized by someone of his stature in the manner that he recognized me," says Lewis, 40. "He's always felt that I was very good at what I do and has always enjoyed and respected the music I made, so it was very cool that he allowed me to run with it."
And, Lewis is quick to note, while Stroud's formidable name certainly bolsters his country credibility, "Town Line" and "The Road" were decidedly his own creations, which is actually a new experience for Lewis.
"This is the first time in my career I've been allowed to fully run with what was in my head," he explains. "In the past I had a band, and the band is an all-inclusive, all-together thing. We write together. It's never been truly my vision, without anyone else sticking their two cents in.
"So what I'm doing now. I'm not sure if the right word is satisfying or gratifying -- maybe both. But at the end of it I feel pretty damn proud of what came out of me, and I know there's more coming."
Aaron Lewis performs at 8 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 7, at SoundBoard in the Motor City Casino Hotel, 2901 Grand River Blvd., Detroit. Tickets are $40 and $37. Call (313) 237-7711 or visit www.motorcitycasino.com.
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