OFFSTAGE: How Aaron Lewis Went From George Jones to Kid Rock and Back

(CMT Offstage keeps a 24/7 watch on everything that’s happening with country music artists behind the scenes and out of the spotlight.)

If I could draw you a timeline of Aaron Lewis‘s musical roots, it would make no sense. But to put it in very simple terms, it goes something like this: Listen to George Jones music while hunting and fishing with grandfather. Grandfather passes away — and the country music kind of dies, too. Turn to rock music as a teenager. Front hard rock band Staind. Tour with Kid Rock and hang out with him, listening to George Jones again. Launch solo country career. In a recent interview with Gibson.com , Lewis says that it was Kid Rock who inadvertently reignited his appreciation for classic country. “Staind were touring with Kid Rock, and he and I got along well, and I’d ride on his bus, and he’d be playing George Jones and Hank Williams and old country stuff that I grew up on. … And it all came back to me,” Lewis recalled. “The fact that country songs typically tug at your heartstrings, and I’d been told by fans that my lyrics do that, too. Where I live now in the country, and where I’m from, it just makes sense. When I was younger, I needed to get things off my chest, and I have definitely mellowed. … A lot of things just felt right working in Nashville.”

Alison makes her living loving country music. She's based in Chicago, but she's always leaving her heart in Nashville.