Town Line

Town Line

At first glance, Town Line looks more like a mini-album than an EP. But three of these songs are differently mixed versions of the single “Country Boy.” What’s more important is how naturally Aaron Lewis made the segue from fronting post-grunge outfit Staind to contemporary country balladeer. “The Story Never Ends” is a moving narrative wrapped in gorgeous pedal-steel tones. The song opens sounding like Lewis has been crooning heartfelt ballads his whole life — and maybe he has. The Springfield, Vermont native listened to folk music in his youth and grappled with growing up in a broken family — which fits perfectly alongside George Jones’ songwriting credo to “sing what you’ve lived.” Speaking of Jones, he turns up here with Charlie Daniels on the first version of “Country Boy,” another story-strong song with weed ‘n’ whiskey outlaw imagery and mentions of selling one’s soul to Satan replete with some “Devil Went Down to Georgia” fiddle swipes. “Vicious Circles” is another strong serenade on par with Music City’s finest and “Tangled Up In You” spotlights Lewis’ knack for penning a near-perfect love song.


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