RECORD LABEL:Organic Records
LOCATION:Asheville, North Carolina
If Aaron Burdett’s last single, “Loser’s Bracket,” was a bluegrass-friendly slice of wry wit, his new Organic Records release serves notice that the western North Carolina singer-songwriter has as fine a touch with a more sombre portrait, too—this time of an aging factory worker looking back over his life.
“Arlo” is a well-crafted, emotionally convincing piece of collage sourced, says Burdett, from real life conversations that have taken place over a decade or more. “Years ago, I used to drive down to play the open mic night at a place called Eddie’s Attic in Georgia,” he recalls. “It was a weekly event, and I’d go down every 6 weeks or so. I’d work on my chops and mingle with other writers in one of the premier songwriter venues in the southeast. Among the semi-regular performers those evenings was a songwriter named Arlo, and although we haven’t seen each other in person for probably 15 years we’ve kept in touch and still talk every week or so. We wax poetic about music and songs and audio gear and guitars or any number of other oddball subjects. He’s not exactly the character in this song but he is a character in his own right.”
“Almost every line in the song, ‘Arlo,’ is something he said to me directly, verbatim,” Burdett continues. “I’ve twisted the meaning and implications of the phrases to suit my vision for the narrator in the song, but the words more or less came from real life, from a real live Arlo, over the past 10 years. We’d talk, and afterwards some sentence he said would stick with me so I’d write it down on the ‘Arlo’ sheet. Eventually this song fell out of that collection of phrases and snippets of conversations. Goes to show that you should be careful when you’re being clever around a songwriter, you may hear something you recognize in the next draft.”
“Wish I could go back and do it again without the stress, just the happiness” is this Arlo’s desire, with gentle yet insistent backing from Burdett’s regular trio members Daniel Ullom (mandolin) and Kim France (upright bass, harmony vocals) and empathetic fiddle work from Mountain Home Music Company’s Carley Arrowood—and by the time Burdett’s stoic, resigned voice finishes this closing refrain, it’s likely to have inspired a similar wish among its listeners, too.
KEY SELLING POINTS
- Aaron Burdett is an acclaimed Americana/folk singer-songwriter and performer from Western North Carolina and is listed as "one of the most important western NC musicians" by WNC Magazine
- He's won top awards in multiple songwriting competitions hosted by the likes of Merlefest, The USA Songwriting Competition, Mountain Stage, among others
- His last four albums (as of 2020) have been voted top 20 Albums of the Year by WNCW radio listeners.