Posted: July 8, 2012
Ask anyone who has ever had the privilege of working with Aaron Lewis and they'll confirm he is 'good people' – so we're all over the moon that this amazing fella and incredibly talented musician has finally released his very own, truly great CD Discovering Gold.
And I don't use the word 'finally' there lightly.
For the last quarter of a century Aaron has been performing professionally backing up everyone from The Ennis Sisters and Jimmy Rankin to Michelle Wright and Dr. Hook and sharing the stage with everyone from Burton Cummings and Alabama to The Osmonds for goodness sake (and trust me I'm just dropping a few names from a very long list). Indeed his musical career has taken him to thousands of stages all around the world.
His time with The Carlton Show Band even had Aaron relocating from his homeland on Cape Breton Island to Ontario for seven years.
At that time he was 19, but in what would turn out to be a foreshadowing moment - he would first appear with the band at the tender age of 5.
Aaron's late father Bob Lewis was a member of The Carlton Show Band back then and little Aaron made his TV debut during a Pig and Whistle Christmas Special - how cool!
Now, as fate would have it, Aaron's become a regular on the Cape Breton Christmas Daddies telethon – having appeared on the seasonal broadcast for nearly 15 years.
That's where I first met him and I'm so glad I did because it led to me being a part of this first album of his. Recording the duet “Separate Lives” and performing it with Aaron in front of an audience has been a real gift for me - as has his friendship.
Aaron's 25th year in the music industry has included about 200 shows and that's in addition to writing, producing studio recordings and live events as well. There's no denying the man is busy, but he made time for an interview with Sea and be Scene and for that I am truly grateful – so what follows is my Q & A, as they say, with Aaron C. Lewis
SABS: There's no denying you were raised on music Aaron – what's your first memory of performing?
Aaron C. Lewis: My first memory of performing was, I had a lead part in a Christmas concert when I was 5 I sang “Frosty the Snowman”, and I remember looking in the audience for my dad’s approval and seeing him smiling at me.
Then I remember the applause...that’s when I was hooked on performing. So when we’d have house parties I would almost always be the one beating on something (pots, pan’s arms of couches etc) playing along with the music. I guess this is why my first instrument ended up being drums because they were loud and everyone could hear me haha.
SABS: For so long you've been backing up and playing for other artists – how cool was it for you to record your very own CD?
Aaron C. Lewis: It has been an awesome ride recording this CD, it took 5 years to record it only because I’m very critical of song selection and sound quality. The first song I recorded for it was “Wouldn’t it be Beautiful” written by Gordie Sampson. Gordie called me up around midnight one night and said he’d like me to record harmonies on his new demo, I remember saying that I was free in the morning and then there was a bit of silence on the phone, and I said “ohhh you want me to come out to Lakewind now”.
I didn’t get home till 5 in the morning, but that’s when I heard “Wouldn’t it be Beautiful” for the first time and it was that song that made me want to start my own project. (see live version in video above)
The response from radio has been extremely good for a first outing.
It’s still hard when you’re an independent artist because a lot of these radio guys don’t take you serious unless you are attached to major label, but many have given me a chance and I thank them for that.
SABS: I was there for your album release at the Savoy and I gotta tell ya I was blown away by the love and support in that theatre for you and your family – it was just amazing.
Aaron C. Lewis:The support I have from my family keeps me going on this crazy ride. As long as they keep supporting me I’ll keep doing it but the second they want me to stop I will. They are my number one priority in life.
All that being said they’ve allowed me to do some crazy stuff like forming my own production company (Little House of Faith Productions) with my partner Sheldon Chant. They didn’t really understand this move until they saw some of the productions we put together like our Tribute to the Carpenters show which sold out two shows at the Savoy Theatre and my recent call from the Charlie Pride camp to go on his Canadian tour as their production coordinator. I’m all about opening new doors of opportunity.
SABS: Like you were influenced by your father's career it looks like your children are growing up and doing the same....
Aaron C. Lewis:Yes for sure, the cool thing is my father was around long enough to influence my kids as well. They both play music - Martina plays piano and sings and Jordan plays guitar, bass, drums, and mandolin. Like myself growing up they’ve lived around music their whole lives. They are both seeking careers in music right now and I have to say both are very talented and myself and their mom are very proud parents.
SABS: I know you're always busy – what's coming up next for you?
Aaron C. Lewis: Right now we have the new Single out “I Ain’t Ever Satisfied” so we are watching that closely. I’m pretty busy doing the festival thing here in Cape Breton with the privateers - a Celtic Rock Band I put together a few years ago. We have a few new productions in the words with our Little House of Faith production company one that includes a Christmas with the Carpenters show, and a new dinner theatre production. I would also like to develop a show for the school system that touches on the bullying problem we have here. We are also considering a new tour with The Carlton Showband in the fall, and we have a Cruise of the Caribbean with The Carlton Showband set up for February.
We are currently picking new material for the next CD and working on a Christian CD with my partner Sheldon Chant. And of course we are getting a band together to start touring my own act and promoting my new CD. So life is good and busy just the way I like it.
Aaron lives in Cape Breton with his wife (and high school sweetheart) Karen and their two children Jordan (17) and Martina (14) and yes she was named after Martina MacBride
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And since you're here - you should check out the video we shot during the recording session for our duet "Separate Lives" click here