You Bring out the Hamster in Me

Joe Troop & Aaron Jonah Lewis

Joe Troop and Aaron Jonah Lewis have never lived in the same place at the same time. They met as teenagers at America’s oldest traditional music gathering, the Galax Old Fiddlers Convention in Southwest Virginia. And it’s there that they convene every August for unbridled musical mayhem and mystical healing.

They’re similar people: disillusioned with the mundane, experienced world travelers, misfits, dreamers, fond of mixing it up. You know, one night sushi, gas station hotdogs the next. Whatever. They both play fiddle and banjo well. And they both get ‘er done on guitar and mandolin. They both sing, they both swing. Musically, they can do a lot of different stuff.

They’re rooted in the Appalachian folk tradition, but not limited to it. Aaron lives in Detroit. Joe lives in Buenos Aires. They rarely cross paths, but when they do, one thing’s for certain: they bring out the hamster in one another. The week after Galax 2016, they decided to spend a few hours in a studio playing unrehearsed music. This is what happened, and they hope for more to happen soon.