Based in North Carolina, singer songwriter Aaron Burdett released his sixth full length project, Tinderbox (Organic Records), this past June. The album, which was recorded with his road band, was produced by Tim Surrett from the award winning bluegrass group Balsam Range. Tinderbox is a collection of songs about love, life and heartache centering on a theme of persevering and moving forward with hope.
The album starts off with “Old Oak Table” about a handmade table that is the centerpiece of memories good and bad. “I’m not looking back on what used to be/Nothing left to be learned from yesterday/All because what it was is over/ And it’s all gone like dry oak up in flames.” Memories are revisited in “Rattling Bones” reminding us that they can haunt, but really can’t hurt when you’re in a different place and leave the past behind.
Learning and moving forward with hope--sometimes needing to look back to do so--is the theme of the bluesy “Boots and Bandanas.” Standout track “Weather Any Storm” is a soulful anthem that celebrates overcoming those obstacles that seemed unsurmountable and even learning from them. “In time that pain subsides leaves us with what we need inside.”
The title track is a folksy piece of honesty about the ease of how his heart can fall in love, for better or worse, ultimately pondering if he’s “better off lonely than hurt.” The revved up, rock a billy feeling of “Stark Raving Sober” finds him a bar stool poet on a Saturday night again wondering about love: why he continues to want someone so badly when she clearly left him behind, while “Write What You Know” also focuses on that loneliness.
The picture of the life of a married mother dreaming of something else, something for herself is found in “Next Big Thing” on which The Honeycutters’ Amanda Anne Platt provides harmonies. “She’s the only one thinking about how far she’d go.” Concluding track “Daydream,” with its beachy acoustic vibe leaves you wondering of the endless possibilities of one’s own life. “Your life is your life/Your choice is your choice.”
In the tradition of the singer songwriter, the songs on Tinderbox are lovingly crafted, thoughtful and sincere. Burdett’s music is indeed his own, but it is also familiar, warm and comforting-like home.