Staind were stars of the Y2K nu-metal era pumping out mopey mosh pit anthems for a generation of vaguely-sad millennials, and Aaron Lewis was its frontman, main songwriter and spiritual center. The sound was as far from twang as you could get — down-tuned guitars, double-kicking bass drums and dark, unsettling lyrics — so when Lewis released his first country EP in 2011 it was simply mind blowing. What would Fred Durst think? Who cares! Lewis is a total hillbilly at heart and had the honor of getting George Jones, Charlie Daniels and Chris Young on the same track. It felt a little forced at times, but was honest and tells his whole story. — C.P.