Aaron Burdett - "Denver Plane"
  • Denver Plane
  • Denver Plane
    Genre: Bluegrass
    MP3 (03:10) [7.83 MB]
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 was recently announced as the newest member of the GRAMMY-winning Steep Canyon Rangers, and this song, “Denver Plane,” which was written long before the announcement, mentions “running with the Rangers.” He's won top awards in multiple songwriting competitions hosted by the likes of Merlefest, The USA Songwriting Competition, Mountain Stage, the NC Songwriter’s Co-op, and Our State Magazine. His last four albums have been voted top 20 Albums of the Year by WNCW radio listeners.

In a turn of events that finds life imitating art, the new single from Organic Records’ Aaron Burdett offers a story rooted in the past that’s found an unexpected echo in the present.

Set to a driving beat supplied by Laura Ray (banjo), Zeb Gambill (mandolin) and bassist/harmony singer Kim France — the musicians who made up Burdett’s road band for the preceding year — “Denver Plane” unwinds an entertaining tale of a western North Carolina bluegrass band trying to make tight airport connections on their way out west, punctuated by a memorable chorus that almost demands a sing-along:

Denver plane, Denver plane
We’ve got shows to play
But only if we make it on that Denver plane

Yet as captivating as the song is in its own right, its invocation of the Steep Canyon Rangers will have listeners shaking their heads in amusement, as it arrives in the wake of the recent announcement that Burdett has been named as the newest member of the GRAMMY-winning sextet, known for alternating their own recordings and tours with ones made with legendary banjo-playing comedian and actor Steve Martin.

"In August of 2019 my band was flying out to Colorado to play some shows,” notes Burdett, “And we found ourselves traveling alongside the Steep Canyon Rangers, who were doing the same. We had a really tight connection at Charlotte, and I remember running between terminals for about 20 minutes alongside Graham Sharp, songwriter and banjo player for their band. Both of us were lugging heavy instruments and backpacks, and we were not optimistic we'd get to the gate in time. Fortunately we did get there just as the plane doors were closing, and I made a note during the flight with a song idea about ‘running with the Rangers.’ As often happens, it took me a year or two to flesh out the full song, and we finally recorded it in the spring of 2022.

“Here's where the story gets interesting, though,” he adds. “In June of 2022, quite unexpectedly, the Rangers contacted me about the possibility of joining them, and now, as I write this in the early fall of 2022, I'm actually a full member of the band, ‘running with the Rangers’ on a weekly basis. You can't make this stuff up!"
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  • Profile Last Updated:
    01/20/24 10:42:46

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