If Aaron Lewis from Staind is indeed the last rock star to leave the room in search of country music gold, can someone get him to please at least turn out the lights? Who are we kidding? Lewis is the latest, but almost certainly not the last, to make his claim on the Nashville sound with his new song 'Country Boy,' the first single from his upcoming five-song solo CD 'Town Line.'

Actually, this switch makes some kind of sense; although Staind were introduced as a rock band, it's clear that slow, picked-note, ruminative numbers such as their massive 1999 hit 'Been a While' are much more familiar territory for Lewis and his bandmates.

Lewis grew up in rural Vermont listening to country music with his grandfather and still makes his home "in the sticks" today. In recent years, it's become quite common to find him hunched over an acoustic guitar, playing solo versions of Staind songs or rock classics at radio stations and intimate venues around the country. Apparently somewhere in there a light bulb went off:

"The country accompaniment naturally complements my acoustic guitar playing," Lewis explains. "These songs are country in the sense of classic Americana. They're simple, understated, and founded on quality songwriting. If you put a country accompaniment to any of the songs that I've written over the years on my acoustic, all of them would work as country tunes."

Country legends Charlie Daniels and George Jones appear on 'Country Boy' and its accompanying video, along with retro-leaning press darling Chris Young. Lewis will hit the road this January to promote 'Town Line,' which is expected in stores in early February.

More From Taste of Country