Aaron Lewis to bring country sounds to Hammond

2014-02-19T16:15:00Z 2014-05-20T16:18:07Z Aaron Lewis to bring country sounds to HammondEloise Marie Valadez Eloise.Valadez@nwi.com, (219) 933-3365 nwitimes.com

Music fans have long been used to Aaron Lewis' rockin' sounds with Staind. For the past few years, Lewis has been delivering tunes in a country vein on stage and winning new admirers.

Lewis will bring his show to the Region when he performs at 8 p.m. Feb. 22 at The Venue at Hammond's Horseshoe Casino.

"The show will be me playing with just a dobro player and doing an acoustic concert," said Lewis. "It'll be an eclectic mix of my country records and songs I've written in the past."

Lewis, a founding member of Staind and the band's noted lead vocalist, said he was a little concerned about what his fan base would think when he branched off into country in such a big way.

"I wondered whether they were going to accept what I was doing at that point because they had come to expect certain things from me."

While there were some naysayers, there were also a great many fans who embraced his foray into the country realm.

Lewis' EP "Town Line," his first country album, debuted in 2011 with "The Road" full album hitting the market at the end of 2012.

Country, Lewis said, wasn't always something he loved.

"It was more of a forced feeling. As an adolescent, I remember having to listen to what the adults were listening to which was old school outlaw country. I didn't start appreciating that type of music until I got a little older," Lewis said.

At the center of a majority of country songs are deep-rooted feelings, honesty and a down-to-earth mentality. Lewis said his songwriting has always lent itself to honesty.

"I've always been an artist that's all about getting to the heart of things," he said.

Lewis' inspirations for songs are developed in different ways. It depends on the situation," he said. The tunes on his hit album "The Road," came about "quickly" in "7 or 8 4-hour sessions."

When it comes to charity work, Lewis and his wife started the nonprofit It Takes a Community, founded initially to help reopen their daughter's school. At the core of the organization's mission is "Strengthening, Enriching and Preserving New England's Rural Communities."

For Lewis, giving back is key and helping organizations that benefit children and small communities are of utmost importance to him.

"I've been lucky to have been given what I have so I try to do what I can," he said.

FYI: Aaron Lewis will perform at 8 p.m. Feb. 22 at The Venue at Horseshoe Casino, 777 Casino Center Drive, Hammond. Tickets are $104, $49, $39, $24 and $19. Call (800) 745-3000 or visit horseshoehammond.com

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