Aaron Burdett’s lyrics are soul-touching, intelligent, witty, and poetic all at once, while his music style is a seamless blend of Americana, country, blues, bluegrass, and folk.
Aaron is listed as one of the Top 10 most important musicians of western North Carolina by WNC Magazine, alongside such greats as Doc Watson, Steep Canyon Rangers, and The Avett Brothers. He has also received critical acclaim as a songwriter, Most recently winning the grand prize in the folk category of the USA Songwriting Contest with “A Couple Broken Windows” from his latest album Refuge (2018). His new single “Rockefeller” is one of three finalists in the bluegrass category In the prestigious Chris Austin Songwriting Contest at Merlefest for 2020 (postponed until 2021).
Aaron was also the winner of Our State Magazine’s Carolina Songs Competition in 2012 with “Going Home to Carolina.” Aaron’s song “Magpie” won third place bluegrass song in Chris Austin Songwriting Contest at Merlefest in 2013. Over the years Aaron has been a finalist in numerous other songwriting competitions, including The Mountain Stage Songwriting Contest, The NC Songwriter’s Cooperative Songwriting Contest, and the Hank Williams Songwriting Contest.
As a child, Aaron discovered John Hiatt, Bob Dylan, Cat Stevens, James Taylor, The Rolling Stones, Grateful Dead, The Beatles, The Band, and Rickie Lee Jones on vinyl records in his parents’ living room in the mountains of North Carolina. As a budding guitarist and songwriter, he was drawn to powerful communicators of the time like David Wilcox and Tracy Chapman and John Gorka. In his late teens, he discovered John Prine on a cassette tape dug out of a workshop drawer filled with rusty sixteen penny nails on a Wyoming ranch. He re-discovered the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band on that same trip in a second-hand store in Riverton, Wyoming.
In his 20s he was introduced to Doc Watson when he heard him play in the living room of an old farmhouse near Boone, North Carolina. That experience led him to Norman Blake, Tony Rice, David Grier, Tim O’Brien, Darrell Scott, and Gillian Welch.
Mix all those influences up, add time and pressure, seven full-album releases, thousands of live performances, and you get Aaron Burdett the songwriter and artist you hear today.
Drawing heavily on both the traditions of Appalachian folk music as well as nationally known songwriters, Aaron’s music gives voice to the small rural areas of the Blue Ridge Mountains while also speaking to the working men and women throughout the country.