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Bluegrass worthy of being blasted out of the windows of a Plymouth Barracuda with 451 Hemi engine, the Blue Dogs boast a personal history that has endeared themselves to the nascent "alt-country" scene with a whiz-bang melding of roots-rock rumble, bluegrass chicanary, and honky-tonk reverence.
Like mad cutural terrorists, they've taken the norm and fed it through a Americana blender. Youthful and deep-dyed bluegrass taken to the next level - and it is both timely and exciting!
Blue Dogs' fans are predominantly hard-working, twenty-and thirty-plus-somethings who have developed a fierce loyalty and deep love of the collective's conversion-by-force performances. The Blue Dogs’ fierce work ethic - long tours and long sets - and enduring spirit both are genuine. With as big-as-the-room personas, an ability to rock the doors of the most jaded clubs, the heart to hold a room completely still, and a genius for arrangement, these merry makers are one of the most unique bands around. They are in favor of laying themselves at the feet of a rambunctious, freewheeling, unfettered sound, and wood-shedding it until so-called roots revivalists, snooty bluegrass purists, and alt-country poseurs are sent into paroxysms of self-doubt and years of expensive therapy.
And just who are these South Carolinians who dare to breathe fresh life into the overly stoic, staid and mossback world of bluegrass? Anchoring this rambunctious lot with his percussion guitar and gift for lyrics is Blue Dogs founder Bobby Houck. Bobby has testified as a most innovative songwriter and performer, content on warping the classic Nashville sound and embracing the eccentric. Houck can work the crowd like a carnival barker who also happens to write tender, honest songs that move the room to awed silence. His is the voice that gently and at times spiritually strokes the senses like the hairs on a feather, but can still sound like a neat glass of single malt in a world of Michelob Light.
Start Time: 8:00
Creating music isn’t a means to an end, it is an end with a meaning for Aaron Burdett. Writing and creating songs is rooted somewhere deep in his psyche; it’s something that can’t be denied and must be shared. His 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-rock that cohesively creates a story.
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 receivedcritical acclaim as a songwriter, winning Our State Magazine’s Carolina Songs competition in 2012 with “Going Home to Carolina.” Aaron’s song “Magpie” won third place bluegrass song in the prestigious 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.
Aaron’s writing is as prolific and genuine as the man. He grew up the oldest of three boys in the fairly isolated small town in Saluda, NC, where the Blue Ridge meets the Smoky Mountains. When Aaron was about 10 years old 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 teen years, Aaron found his tenor voice in a choral setting and, performed in musical theater. In 1992 he went to the prestigious 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.
No stranger to hard work, Aaron’s sense of adventure took him across the country working on various types of farms and ranches. While many mainstream country singers pay lip-service to the blue-collar working world, Aaron’s songs come from his life experiences.
After seeing a lot of his friends and musical colleagues struggle to be full-time musicians, sometimes at the cost of their marriages and family lives, Aaron moved back to his hometown and decided to go another route. He 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. In2013, Aaron decided to pursue music full time, so fast forward to 2017, and his distinctive clear voice has carried his dream into a successful career. Aaron’s songs effortlessly transition from solo performance to full band, with equal emotional impact on audiences.
Aaron has 7 albums, Refuge (2017 on Organic Records), Tinderbox (2015 on Organic records), Fruits of My Labor (2014 on Organic Records), Breathing Underwater (2012), Stand Up Eight (2010), Resolve (2008) , and The Weight of Words (2005).
Vocals, Guitar / Aaron Burdett
Lap Steel / Jackson Dulaney
Bass / Jeff Hinkle
Drums / James Kylen