Ramblin’ Rhodes: ‘Country Boy’ Lewis to perform at Country Club

Aaron Lewis performed at the “Sing Me Back Home: The Music of Merle Haggard” concert in April in Nashville, Tenn. He’ll be in Augusta this Thursday night at The Country Club. AL WAGNER/INVISION/AP

My guess is there hasn’t been any country music entertainers who have come to Augusta virtually unknown to most country fans who still can boast having a music video with more than 50 million views on youtube.com.


But Aaron Lewis, due to perform at the Country Club Dance Hall &Saloon, 2834 Washington Road, on Thursday, May 18, can claim that distinction.

His music video of his hit single Country Boy with guest artists Charlie Daniels and George Jones not only is massively popular but his video of Forever also is nearing 7 million views.

According to the nightclub’s web site, Lewis is to take the stage at 10 p.m. Doors open at 7 p.m. Advance tickets are $35. Call (706) 364-1862 or order online at AugustaCountry.com

By the time Lewis decided a few years ago to focus on hard core country recordings, he already had a worldwide fan following as lead vocalist, rhythm guitarist and co-founder of the rock group Staind.

Lewis wrote and recorded the hit rock song It’s Been Awhile and has scored other hits. His latest country single is Granddaddy’s Gun.

You can catch up with the rock-turned-country artist at aaronlewismusic.com.

APPARENTLY NO MORE POW WOW: Phil Galaviz of Lawrenceville, Ga., who last fall continued the Native American festival at the New Savannah Bluff Lock &Dam Park begun by Chipa Wolfe, has decided to back out of the festival this year.

He wrote me in an email last week, “Don, I will not be continuing the Pow Wow.”

The early 2016 death of Wolfe, who co-organized the Oka’Chaffa Indian Festival about five years ago with former Augusta mayor Bob Young and naturalist Okefenokee Joe, left the future of the festival in question until Galaviz stepped into the picture.

While the festival in early years was promising with an average of 6,000 visitors per weekend, it had been struggling more recently with needed sponsors and volunteers.

The festival offered a unique local look at Native American life, but promoters had problems overcoming its remote location near Augusta Regional Airport and much of the public thinking the festival was only for Native Americans.

AUGUSTA’S TIE TO THE PREAKNESS: When you hear the thousands of patrons singing Maryland My Maryland, at the start of the 142nd Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Md., on Saturday, May 20, take pride that the song was composed by former Augustan James Ryder Randall (1839-1908).

Randall, a former editor of The Augusta Chronicle whose statue stands in front of Sacred Heart Cultural Center at Greene and 13th streets, is buried in Magnolia Cemetery near his daughter, Ruth, who lived on West Avenue in North Augusta and was an administrator of the libraries in both Augusta and North Augusta.

TEEN OPENING FOR SCOTTY: Dylan Schneider, who turns 18 in October, will be opening for Scotty McCreery, the 2011 winner of the American Idol TV talent series, at 8 p.m. Saturday, May 20, at Imperial Theatre, 749 Broad St.

Schneider, born in Terre Haute, Ind., is touring in support of his new CD appropriately titled 17. His debut CD also was appropriately titled Wannabe.

COBB STATUE IN ROYSTON: You won’t find the statue of former Augustan Ty Cobb at the Atlanta Braves new home at SunTrust Park in suburban Atlanta. It wasn’t moved from Turner Field when the new park was built.

But rather you now can find it in front of the public library in Royston, Ga., 634 Franklin Springs St., where it will have a new unveiling at 2 p.m. Sunday, May 21. Charles Leerhsen, the well-known sports writer and author of the recent biography Ty Cobb: A Terrible Beauty, will be the guest speaker.

The city of Royston went after the statue in a big way by forming the “Ty Cobb Statue Committee,” whose efforts proved to be successful.

Although some local Augusta-area baseball fans hoped for the statue to be moved here, that movement never received any noticeable support from local government leaders or tourism officials.

You can, however, go see the historic marker unveiled by former Braves pitcher Phil Niekro last January in front of Cobb’s long-time residence, 2425 Williams St., two blocks from the entrance to Augusta State University, privately arranged by local baseball fans.

JAMES BROWN’S RECORDING STUDIO: Nancy Joyce, director of the Community Ministry of North Augusta, wanted me to know that the metal building home of the organization at 646 East Buena Vista Ave. is not just an outreach of Fairview Presbyterian Church as many believe.

The building in the 1970s and 1980s was a recording studio used by such local music celebrities as Steve Morse (Dixie Dregs/Kansas/Deep Purple), The Swanee Quintet, Larry Jon Wilson and James Brown. The latter, in fact, recorded his worldwide hit single Get On The Good Foot at the studio 45 years ago last week in 1972.

“The ministry was started by six churches: Fairview Presbyterian, Grace United Methodist, Holy Trinity Lutheran, Our Lady of Peace Catholic, Saint Bartholomew Episcopal and Second Providence Baptist,” Joyce noted.

“At the present time we have 22 churches that support the ministry,” she added. “Beyond all the help that we give to needy families, we have volunteers from all these different Christian churches that work together to support our mission. Those friendships that develop here between the volunteers are part of the miracles that happen here. We all learn that we have more in common than we do differences.”

You can learn more about the ministry at cmona.org or call (803) 279-5771.

SPEAKING OF HISTORIC CHURCHES: As if this weekend isn’t going to be busy enough with music happenings, you can help save and restore the historic Horn’s Creek Baptist Church, five miles south of Edgefield, 443 Old Stage Road.

The Edgefield County Historical Society is sponsoring a barbecue dinner and gospel music show featuring Elvis Presley tribute artist Jeff Barnes at 5 p.m. Saturday, May 20, at the rural church. Call (803) 637-2233 for details.

Look ahead: Next weekend is the eighth annual Papa Joe’s Banjo-B-Que Music Festival, happening May 26-27 at Evans Towne Center Park.

Performers will include Greensky Bluegrass, The Difibulators, Banditos, Natchez Tracers, Cicada Rhythm, Hog Slop String Band and Harvest Thieves, with headlining act The Avett Brothers.

Tickets are $35 Friday, $45 Saturday or $70 for a weekend pass. Visit banjobque.com for more details.



WHO: Country artist and Staind band frontman Aaron Lewis

WHEN: 10 p.m. Thursday, May 18

WHERE: Country Club Dance Hall & Saloon, 2834 Washington Road

COST: $35 advance; augustacountry.com