News

Abraham Lincoln’s Favorite Song

January 15, 2021

Who else went for a swim first thing on New Year’s Day? Grace and I have been getting in the Detroit River once a week, and last week we had to break up some thin ice before we could get all the way in. I’ve heard there are health benefits to doing this but for us it’s just a cheap thrill since we can’t get together with friends for square dances and potlucks during the pandemic and we both gave up substance abuse years ago. In this email I have four things to share:  – New Video Out Now: Listen To The Mockingbird  – Yoga With Melanie This Sunday  – Live Stream Concert From The Blacksmith Shop Next Saturday 1/23  – New Classic Banjo Lessons Series on YouTube   New Video Out Now: Listen To The Mockingbird My new video is from the concert at the G.A.R. Hall a couple months ago with Cameron Celestia on piano, and this is a special piece because it’s an “Air Varie” arrangement by Hoosier banjo virtuoso Parke Hunter (1876-1912) of Listen To The…

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Singalong Zoom This Monday + Santa Is Real + New Videos (Dec 2020)

January 14, 2021

Hello and a ho ho ho!   I hope we’re all feeling jolly, 2020 is almost over and things are probably going to get better soon. I only have a few announcements for you this month —   – Zoom Singalong This Monday 12/21 – Santa Is Real – Bandcamp Fridays Continue in 2021 – New Live Concert Videos and Instructional Series (Coming Soon)   Zoom Singalong This Monday 12/21 This Monday at 7pm I am playing a singalong concert on Zoom with Keva Celestia and Grace van’t Hof as a service to our local community here in Southwest Detroit — Since it’s online I am happy to be able to invite you, too! This is the Zoom link for joining at 7pm on Monday the 21st. Do not try this link before 7pm on Monday, it will not work.   Click here if you’d like to find out more about the Southwest Detroit TimeBank and consider making a donation. We also have a Facebook link for the event here, if you’d like to share it.   Santa Is Real…

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Surgery! (Nov 2020)

January 14, 2021

This Thanksgiving weekend I am thankful for so many things. Right now I am so thankful for the ability to breath through my nose again! About a week ago I underwent surgery, a septoplasty to correct a deviated septum that had been blocking 90% of my nasal passage since birth or early childhood. This was the first time I’d ever been ‘put under’ with general anaesthesia or been through any major procedure, and all I can say is wow! I am not taking anything for granted. I’m going to give a brief description of what it was like for me at the end of the email to spare anyone who doesn’t want to hear the details. Suffice to say I am doing fine now, feeling very grateful for science and medicine and Medicaid and the basic goodness of humans and the amazing power of the human body to heal. I’m used to a pretty active lifestyle so suddenly doing nothing at all for 4-5 days after the operation was a big change for me, but I think the ‘new normal’…

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Grammys!

October 23, 2020

Banjovial Greetings, One And All! I’m getting jolly over here because it’s my favorite month of the year. It’s so beautiful here in Michigan, and we can safely say that summer is completely over. The ongoing pandemic that is coronavirus continues to rage, and the even more ongoing plague of capitalist white-supremacist patriarchy also continues. I already voted so I can ignore  the ubiquitous campaign ads, but I did sign up to work the polls on election day so we’ll see how that turns out. In this newsletter:  – Patreon Goals  – I Have A Gig! (Two, Actually)  – Spring Tour in UK and Ireland  – Grammys (Ha Ha)  – New Video (From Live Online Concert)  – I Read A Book Patreon Goals I have almost 2500 subscribers to this email list and I currently have 38 patrons on Patreon. My goal is to get that number up to 300 — Can you help me make it happen? For less than the price of a cup of coffee (once a month) you’ll get lots of exclusive content including music, stories,…

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Classical Flex and More

August 27, 2020

Last week I played from my friend’s front porch for a crowd of about seven people, in honor of his and his partner’s ten-year wedding anniversary. It felt SO GOOD to play in real life in front of real people, unmediated by webcams or microphones, and to experience that spontaneous interaction of brains and hearts through strings and hands and vibrating air. Please, I thought, please don’t ever let this go away… Still here? Still here! I haven’t taken such a long break from communications in a while, but it’s because ALL OF MY GIGS WERE CANCELLED (or postponed), so I didn’t have much to report. Now, however, I have a few gigs coming up to tell you about, and so much more. In this email: – Upcoming Shows – YouTube Videos (Please Subscribe) – Classical Flex – Bandcamp Day, Friday, September 4 (Please Download and Share) – Hire Me to Play for You – Patreon (Please Become a Patron) – Book Report   UPCOMING SHOWS I do have a couple shows coming up, including one real life in person…

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Béla Fleck Approves

May 31, 2020

As my friend AJ Srubas (of Steam Machine — check em out!) recently reminded me, silence is complicity — I need to speak out, so in addition to the usual charming updates about my life and work, I include in this newsletter some resources for being a better ally to oppressed people, especially here in the US. If you feel as disturbed and distraught as I do about the recent murders of George Floyd in Minneapolis and Ahmad Arbery in Atlanta you can scroll straight to the bottom of this message and find a few links to resources for taking action.   In this email I have for you: – Upcoming Shows? – Bandcamp Day Friday, June 5 – Non-Story About Bela Fleck – Why Patreon? – Book Report – Resources for Being an Ally   Upcoming Shows? I’m playing a short online set on June 5 from 3-3:30pm EDT as part of an online festival to support the Stag & Hounds, a well-loved music venue I’ve played many times in Bristol, UK. To see my set and more just…

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First-Ever Virtual Fiddle Contest Champ

April 21, 2020

A few weeks ago I participated in the world’s first-ever (as far as I know) virtual fiddle contest. Known as the Great Southern Old Time Fiddlers’ Convention it has been going on in Chattanooga, Tennessee, for many years. This was my first year competing and I won first place in the fiddle category. (I’m also proud to mention my sister, Hannah Lewis, won first place in the dance category and my friend Micah Spence, also in Detroit, won first place in the banjo category. Go Detroit!) This is a very strange time but I am heartened to see all the creative ways people are making the best of it.   In this email: – Upcoming Shows (Online)! – Join Me on Patreon – Pizza Recipe – Kenny Baker Challenge – Bandcamp Day Is May 1 – Book Report   Upcoming Shows First and foremost, I have a few online shows coming up. I will be playing some new material I’m very excited to share (original classic banjo arrangement of Russian Rag!!!!!) with special guest Grace van’t Hof. Here are the…

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Stay Close and Join Me on Patreon!

March 21, 2020

My Dear Friends and Musical Family, I’m glad I waited to send this: I was going to announce months packed with gigs — My busiest year of performing yet, including great gigs in the northeast US, the Netherlands and France with Lovestruck Balladeers, a solo tour in the UK and Germany, and a Corn Potato String Band tour in Virginia, Maryland, and North Carolina — and then the unthinkable happened. (That reminds me of a joke: How do you think the unthinkable? Scroll to the end for the punchline…) First of all, I hope you are all staying safe and well during these strange times. I have my health and I have my house, but as you can imagine, my work is all gone. It will be hard for me to recoup the money I spent on plane tickets, not to mention the costs of making my new album, but I am doing the best I can with online lessons and personalized performances. If you or someone you know is interested, please contact me directly. If you’d like to order…

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I Was on American Idol

February 7, 2020

or America’s Got Talent, whatever. And I wasn’t actually on the show but I did audition. Scroll all the way to the bottom for that story. It’s 100 percent true.   Now, I’ve got quite a newsletter for you this time. Lots of fun links to look at, including audio, new videos, and news articles. Re-statement of tour dates. Book report. Update on the dental work… I’ll start with that, because I know you’re just dying to hear about it.   DENTAL WORK UPDATE I’m not really going to go into specifics on this but I got the rest of my dental work done a couple weeks ago and it’s left me with a lingering sensitivity in part of my mouth. Every time I feel that sensitivity I take it as a reminder to be kind to everyone you meet, since you never know what inner struggles other people are dealing with.   Saving the videos and other links for last, here are the   TOUR DATES   LOVESTRUCK BALLADEERS GIGS IN NY: 2/14 – Saratoga Springs, NY – Caffe Lena 2/15-16…

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[Aaron Jonah Lewis] 2020 Vision = Looking Niiiiiiiiiice

January 3, 2020

I got some surprise dental work done today. As I listened to the dentist’s drill whine and grind layers of molar away, smelling the dentist (he smelled good) and enjoying the simultaneous feelings of cradle-comfort in that chair and discomfort from keeping my mouth so open for so long, I had to suppress a giggle a few times. I giggled for the situation (Princess Bride on the TV — “My name is Inigo Montoya…”) and I giggled for my ability to handle it. I feel better equipped than ever for any challenge that comes my way, and I’m ready to have a good time, too.   Welcome to 2020 AJL World my friends. Things are not suddenly different, just gradually getting better all the time. This is the busiest January I’ve had in a long time and I’m going to tell you all about it. In this email you can read about   – Upcoming Gigs – Radio Appearances – New Videos – Mozart of the Banjo update   UPCOMING GIGS Yes, I’ve been rehearsing for not one but TWO…

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