In only its first week, the singer, songwriter, and guitarist’s personal manifesto “Country Boy” has sold over 20,000 digital singles, debuting at #9 on the Billboard Country Digital Singles sales chart. The song has also generated widespread airplay ahead of official January release, with several rock and country stations adding it to their playlists on their own. Remarked WCCC (Hartford, CT) Assistant Program Director Mike Karolyi, “From the first moment ‘Country Boy’ hit the air, it became our most requested song.” The striking video for “Country Boy” quickly hit #1 on the CMT.com chart, receiving over 200,000 views in its first ten days on CMT.com alone. *See a Q&A with LEWIS below.
Jay Frank, Senior Vice President of Music Strategy at CMT, echoes the early excitement. "The minute Aaron walked into CMT with this song, we knew it would be a smash,” says Frank. “In advance, we jointly planned a release strategy with Stroudavarious and The Collective across all our platforms. The huge sales debut, #1 CMT.com debut and phenomenal TV response is confirmation that our instinct on how country fans would respond is spot on. Once again, CMT's commitment to new music and impact above even network television helps launch another artist's Country Music stardom."
With a little help from legends George Jones and Charlie Daniels, LEWIS tells his story like never before on the song. LEWIS’ voice carries a catchy chorus over a slide guitar, and he opens up about his past, present, and future. Featuring a fiery fiddle lead from Daniels and a booming verse from Jones, "Country Boy" strikes a balance between classic and modern country.
Their participation formally announces LEWIS' arrival in Nashville with a bang. The song's music video is an event in and of itself. Not only does the video feature Jones and Daniels in the studio, but it also draws from LEWIS' own family archives, giving a glimpse into his youth, home, passions, and so much more.
TOWN LINE was produced by Grammy Award-winning James Stroud and LEWIS and proudly sits alongside LEWIS' numerous accolades. With Staind, he crafted the most-played rock song of the decade, "It's Been Awhile," sold 13 million albums worldwide, had four consecutive top 3 debuts on the Billboard 200, and released multiple cross-format radio hits. However, listeners haven't heard him like this until now.
Country music comes naturally for LEWIS. It's something the Staind frontman grew up with in rural Vermont. It's something that he comes back to. It's something that inspires him. It's something that's in his blood. Hints of that are present in the stripped honesty and acoustic melodies of Staind hits such as "Outside," "It's Been Awhile" and "So Far Away."
LEWIS fully shows that spirit on TOWN LINE, which includes the songs "Massachusetts” (“I live in the sticks there,” he says), "Vicious Circles” and a new version of "Tangled Up in You," the stand-out 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," LEWIS says. "We brought it further down that road."
Look for LEWIS to head out on the road January 15 for a new run of solo acoustic dates (see below); his freewheeling acoustic shows (which he has been performing for the past few years in tandem with his continuing role in Staind) have earned him rave reviews.