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In Your Ear Episode 64: Aaron Burdett

Aaron Burdett

Aaron Burdett’s way with words is as prolific and genuine as the man himself. He grew up the oldest of three boys in the small town of Saluda, NC, where the Blue Ridge meets the Great Smokies. At age 10 he was introduced to the music of Cat Stevens, the first of many musical influences that include the Grateful Dead, Led Zeppelin, Doc Watson, Tony Rice, Norman Blake, and David Grier. During his teens, Aaron found his voice in a choral setting and performed in musical theater.

In 1992 he went to the renowned Governor’s School of North Carolina for choral music. In his 20s, he played extensively in Boone, NC and owned a music store that sold instruments and offered lessons.

After seeing a lot of his friends and musical colleagues struggle to be full-time musicians, sometimes at the cost of marriage and family, Aaron moved back to his hometown and started a construction business, built a home for himself and his wife, and started a family, all while continuing to write songs and playing music, recording an album every year or two.

We first met Aaron back in 2013 on the Cabin Stage at MerleFest when he was a finalist in the Chris Austin songwriting contest, and he’s since gotten serious about sharing his music with the world, and that includes our Studio A performance from early in 2019.  He was joined by James Bernaby on mandolin and Kim France on bass who also provided some fine backup harmony.


In Your Ear offers a chance to discover new artists and appreciate the “in the moment” creativity and inspiration that only live music can provide. Studio A is a “great room,” a haven for artists with intimate, friendly and informed audiences and peerless audio fidelity, thanks to engineers Carlos Chafin, Andrea Stefl and Paul Bruski. JAMinc president Tim Timberlake produces the programs covering a wide range of genres including bluegrass, jazz, blues, old time, Celtic, gospel and singer-songwriters of many styles. Artists range from superior local and regional talents, to premier acts from all over the country. Concerts are held monthly except during the summer and begin with a delicious pot luck buffet in the lobby. Check our website for information and reservations: jaminc.org/events.

Production funding of In Your Ear is made possible in part by... Digital Video Group, Infinity Financial Partners, Threshold Counsel PC, Virginia Humanities /Virginia Folklife Program, Lickinghole Creek Farm Brewery, the members of 88.9 VPM Music and JAMinc founder Wally Thulin. Artist accommodations courtesy of the Graduate Hotel Richmond at Madison and Franklin.