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September 19th, 2020

Meet 2020 LEAF Finalist Aaron Burdett

NewSong’s 7th annual LEAF Festival Singer-Songwriter Competition takes place Oct. 24! This month, we are introducing readers to our eight, talented finalists. Today we are proud to highlight Saluda, NC based artist Aaron Burdett

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. His last four albums have been voted top 20 Albums of the Year by WNCW radio listeners. 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.

We asked Aaron some questions to learn more about his artistic process and inspiration. 


How do you describe your songwriting process? 

Get an idea and write it down immediately. Store up all the ideas. Sit with a guitar and look at all the ideas as often as is possible. After a year so, one or two songs will emerge, and then you can edit them and reason with them individually. If it’s a good song, maybe perform or record it. If it’s not a good song, put it back in the pile and keep looking at the list of ideas. Repeat these steps as necessary.

Where do you find inspiration and who are your songwriting muses/heroes?

Inspiration comes from anywhere and everywhere. From things people say or something heard off the radio or in a passing conversation. Songs come from patient observation of the world outside.

What does it mean to you to be selected as a NewSong finalist, and what do you hope to get out of the experience?

It’s quite an honor, and I’m looking forward to meeting the other finalists and hearing what their music is all about!

What important news about your music do you have coming up?

We’re still recording and releasing music, navigating the new lay of the land in the music industry as best we can. We’ve released several singles already in 2020 and one, “Rockefeller,” is a finalist in the bluegrass category at Merlefest’s Chris Austin contest that’ll hopefully pick back up in 2021.
Visit to learn more about Aaron Burdett. Follow Aaron on Facebook and Instagram @aaronburdett.