Over the summer and fall last year, I spent a good deal of time shooting documentary coverage during the recording sessions for Aaron Lewis’ “Town Line” album coming out on Stroudavarious Records. Aaron, of course is the lead singer in the multi-platinum selling band, Staind, but for his solo record he came to Nashville to work with some of the best studio players, as well as special guests, Charlie Daniels, George Jones and Chris Young with James Stroud producing the project. What most of his fans don’t know is that Aaron’s first love of music was traditional country. So these songs and this album is really Aaron Lewis returning to his roots.

On this music video for the first single “Country Boy”, all the recording studio footage was my shooting (with the exception of George Jones). I used mostly the HPX-170 and some on my Canon 7D cinema-rig with Leica-R lenses during the time I spent in the studio. Both camera systems have their pros and cons depending on what the shoot circumstances are and since I was working solo on all this I was swapping back and forth constantly. As is typically the case, my job was to cover as much as possible of the players and artists running around during tracking session as well as all instrumental and vocal overdubs. Being a musician myself is a huge plus in being able to be in the right place at the right time since so much happens so quickly, especially with the “A Team” guys in Nashville; pretty incredible to shoot these guys who make it sound so good, so fast; definitely keeps me on my toes! I always try and get as much final sync footage so that I have the actual shots of final takes of the drums, bass, guitar solos, Dobro; which can later be comped back to the final music to get the total visual/audio experience. Below is a still image I shot of Aaron with one of his prized vintage Gibson guitars. Aaron Lewis actually has a Gibson signature model built to this guitar’s exact specifications.

Aaron Lewis

Aaron Lewis

I also shot interview sessions with Aaron, James Stroud and Chris Young, but some of the best documentary material are on-the-spot discussions between Aaron, James and the various players and guests as the go over arrangements and parts. Hopefully some of that material will be released, there is certainly enough in the can to comp and edit a full documentary if they decide to go for it.

It was also a real treat to get to shoot with the legendary Charlie Daniels again; especially his recitation, ad lib at the very end of this song; great stuff!

Usually I direct, shoot, edit & post from A to Z. But this music video for “Country Boy” was edited by Alex Castino, who also shot the exterior footage.

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