There’s an interesting trend when established hard rock artists crossover to country; the sound can be very traditional. Kid Rock has shown this several times over the past decade, but his impact in the genre started on the ’70s country, outlaw-inspired megahit, “Picture,” a duet with Sheryl Crow. Aaron Lewis, frontman of the platinum-selling rock band Staind, follows a similar path on his first full-length country project, The Road, a collection of 10 traditional-based tunes rich with storytelling, ¾-time and twanging guitars.
Aaron first made moves in country music with the release of his 2011 EP, Town Line, featuring the hit “Country Boy” that included guest spots from Charlie Daniels, George Jones and Chris Young. Backed by some of Nashville’s finest session players, Aaron returns with The Road, which is available now. Guitarist Brent Mason, drummer Eddie Bayers and pedal steel player Paul Franklin lead a band that moves effortlessly between Waylon-esque thump (on the title-track “The Road”) and the pure acoustic beauty of Union Station (“Lessons Learned”) while Aaron’s emotional delivery gives life and feeling to the stories in his songs.
Drawing on troubadour themes, The Road spends some serious time contemplating the touring life and what it does to him and his family. The album opener, “75,” cranks up with classic country guitar phrasing and thick telecaster tones while Aaron laments, This highway ain’t no place for home loving drifters like me, with ¾-time balladry, dropping low into the end of a line with a natural highwayman feel. “State Lines” hints at a Continue Reading