Aaron Lewis, Artist of the Week
Runs Feb. 3-7th.
Aaron C Lewis was born in Brampton Ontario and raised in Cape Breton. At 19 he headed back to Ontario to tour with The Carlton Showband, as their Piano player and lead vocalist, a group his father (Bobby Lewis) played with for 11 years. After 7 years with the group he moved back to Cape Breton and started a career in the recording industry, Aaron has toured such places as South America, Ireland, United States, and Canada, and has opened for such artists as Christopher Cross, Alabama, and Joe Diffie. He has backed up such artists as, Ian Thomas, Valdi, Michelle Wright, Stephanie Beaumont, Matt Minglewood, The Ennis Sisters, and Dr Hook, Now With a brand new CD “Discovering Gold” he’s busy promoting and managing a new career, as well as running a production company and independent record label.
Aaron Lewis has been a professional musician since he was sixteen years old. His grandfather Archie Lewis had a radio show and Aaron’s father Bob Lewis, who was acclaimed to have a velvet voice like Dean Martin, was recorded on radio with his twin brother Bill at the age of four. It was produced at the Star Theatre in Whitney Pier. They started the group the “Esquires” in the early 60s. Bob joined the Carleton Show Band in 1968 and played on the CTV program “The Pig and Whistle” for eleven years. Aaron joined the band when he was nineteen and played piano for them, touring all over the world for seven years. The friends they made at this time included such celebrities as Randy Travis, Whalen Jennings, Alabama, Tommy Hunter and Stompin’ Tom Connors. Aaron’s Uncle Bill started playing with Stompin’ Tom in 1969 and is the one playing the guitar for the famous “Hockey Song”.
Aaron’s mother Helen (Pheifer) Lewis died in a car accident in 1974. Helen had a musical life when she was growing up in Scotchtown since her father Rudy Phiefer played the fiddle and would put on a “Christmas in July” party with Aaron’s father when they came home on vacation from Ontario.
The last year Aaron played for the Carleton Show Band in 1997 they went on a three month cruise and he missed his long time sweetheart Karen MacQueen so much he thought it would be the proper time to propose. On a three day break in Cape Breton they got married and honeymooned at Glenora Distillery where Aaron had to play for John Allen Cameron.
Aaron continued to play locally after 1997 for John Allen as well as in the Laurel Martell Band. He has been with the Christmas Daddies house band for the past 13 years. He helped form the group called “The Three Pianos” with Johnny Aucoin and Stephen Muise after the “Come Home Celebration” in New Waterford in 2002. His father was the bass player for the group until his death in 2008. He also performed and produced dinner theatre at the Casino in Sydney for six years. He performed in a duet with Stephanie Beaumont last September for his new CD called “Discovering Gold” and works as a technician for the Membertou Convention Centre.
Aaron’s whole family and their life has always revolved around music. His father, Bob Lewis was the first Cape Bretoner to win a Juno Award and a double platinum album. Bob retired from the Show Band in 1979 when the “Pig and Whistle” show came to an end. His sister April Halliday teaches music in the new Kinder Music program for babies and small children. His children also “have the music”, with Jordon 16 playing bass, drums and guitar and his daughter Martina 13 playing piano and singing. His uncle Warren Lewis played the piano and was the performer for Opening Night for PierScape up until 2009 when he passed on. (We miss him very much).
The very versatile Aaron Lewis was part of the documentary “The Exiles Return” aired on Global Television; he recorded his first CD in his living room and now produces CDs for other musicians. He is a great singer and song writer as well with hits such as “Wouldn’t it be Beautiful” by Gordie Sampson and “If I Can’t Take the Island With Me” sung by the Carleton Show Band. When asked about his favourite creation he said he started writing the song “I See You” when his children were born, it took him many years to complete it. This song has never been recorded but Aaron promised to play it during PierScape’s Music Celebration Night and he was accompanied by the children for whom it was written.