Courtesy of The Valory Music Co.
NASHVILLE, TN (July 2, 2021) Aaron Lewis’ in your face Country has always leaned towards traditional if maverick values, so the fan-rousing “Am I The Only One” (The Valory Music Co.) offers a staunch take on a world losing its foundation. Captured with just an acoustic guitar and a few string embellishments, the father of three offers his truth, voice raw and arms extended in solidarity to those who share his views – and the full-on power ballad has been connecting with the people coming to Lewis’ live shows since debuting it at Billy Bob’s in Fort Worth, Texas.
Opening with a soul searching “Am I the only one, here tonight, Shakin’ my head, thinkin’ somethin’ ain’t right/ Is it just me? Am I losin’ my mind, Am I standin’ on the edge of the end of time?,” the man voted one of the 50 Best Heavy Metal Vocalists of All Time by Hit Parader turns that ballast on his own confusion over the state of the nation. Known for conservative views, his impassioned performance embodies a personal conflict in search of others who share his view.
“Over the last year, we’ve been locked in our homes, watching the tv and wondering ‘What in the Hell is going on?’” Lewis says. “I was raised with certain values, certain truths, certain beliefs about what this nation stands for, what it’s built on… and the more I watched, I wondered, ‘No matter what you believe, how many of us are having the same response? How many people are yelling at their tv, or asking their buddy ‘What the Hell happened?’”
Written one night over his fire pit – from a conversation with songwriters Ira Dean (Gary Allen’s “A Feelin’ Like That,” Montgomery Gentry’s “I’ll Take The Kids”) and Jeffrey Steele (Eric Church’s “Stick That In Your Country Song,” Tim McGraw’s “The Cowboy In Me,” Rascal Flatts’ “What Hurts The Most”) – “Am I The Only One” arrived in minutes. Reflecting each man’s frustration with things they were seeing, they passed their thoughts back-and-forth, wondering, “Am I the only one? Tell me I’m not, Who thinks they’re takin’ all the good we got/And turnin’ it back, hell, I’ll be damned/ I’m turnin’ into my old man…”
Lewis, who’s recorded with legendary producer Buddy Cannon (Willie Nelson, Vince Gill, Alison Krauss, Mickey Raphael, the Cox Family, Ben Haggard, Dan Tyminski), saw the fans’ response – and realized many shared his angst. Rather than wait for his next project, he enlisted slide guitarist Ben Kitterman to create a stripped-down take built on vocals and emotional punch.
“For some things, less is more,” Lewis explains. “Letting this sentiment stand naked, asking the questions, it leaves room for a lot of people to find their own struggle with the state of the world. I don’t care what you believe, I’m starting to feel like everyone is shaking their head about something… and that’s not what our soldiers have fought for.”
With fan videos populating on social media from Lewis’ live shows, it was only a matter of time until “Am I The Only One” had its moment. Echoing no less than Merle Haggard’s “The Fighting Side of Me,” “Okie From Muskogee” and “That’s The News,” the song is one man’s attempt to reckon the new world order.
Considering his place in the genre, All Music Guide offers, “if Aaron Lewis has found his comfort zone as a country singer, he’s willing to stretch its limits somewhat.” The impassioned force of nature seeks to speak for those frustrated by the state of the nation. A bold statement, one man’s view, it serves as an invitation to veterans, patriots and people seeking old school values.