Track Premiere: The Mountains You Carry from Aaron Burdett

Bluegrass singer and songwriter Aaron Burdett has touched quite a lot of people from his home in western North Carolina, through songs that speak to them about their own lives through the examples he brings. His 2021 project, Dream Rich, Dirt Poor, scored him three #1 spots on our Bluegrass Today Grassicana Weekly AirPlay chart over the past year, with the single for Rockefeller doing especially well.

This week Organic Records has a new single release from Burdett, the first from his next album with the label, produced by Jon Weisberger and recorded with Aaron’s touring group. Zeb Gambrill is on mandolin, Laura Ray on banjo, and Kim France on bass, with Aaron on guitar and lead vocals. Laura and Kim provide harmony vocals.

The Mountains You Carry offers a distinct lesson about how we react to things in our lives. We are delighted to premiere it here today for our readers.

This song has a lot to say, and Aaron has a good bit to say about it.

The Mountains You Carry grew out of a Najwa Zebian quote I stumbled across a couple of years back that I wrote down and kept thinking about. I believe the original version I read was, ‘These mountains that you are carrying, you were only supposed to climb.’

I think that often our greatest personal assets can also be our greatest liabilities when played out to extremes. And I think as adults, we’re often really only children grown larger, and we have many of the same feelings and emotions that we did when we were children. I’ve noticed that when I’m angry or agitated it’s almost never the actual thing in front of me today, it’s me reacting to the thing as I would have as a little kid, and bringing my own 40 years of baggage to the situation. 

Those old feelings get dredged up and set in front of me, like lessons I need to re-learn again and again. These are the ‘mountains’ I carry with me and likely always will. Do I choose to learn from them when they pop up? Not always. But sometimes, I can remember that while I’m still the same person, I’m not quite the same kid I was back then. I can do better than I could then. I can take a painful lesson from the past and make my day better today when I’m reminded of it, reminded of the difference between then and now. I can be kind to myself and let it go and move forward without letting that old baggage weigh me down quite as much.

And I see this in others too, I’m not only speaking about myself. I think we all do this to one degree or another, as ‘grown-up kids.’ Maybe this song will remind someone to lighten up and give themselves some grace when they listen to it.

Like it says in the first verse: ‘You’re too hard on yourself, you can let it roll by!'”

Have a listen…

The Mountains You Carry from Aaron Burdett will be available on Friday, May 6, from popular download and streaming services online. Pre-saves are enabled now.

Radio programmers can get the track now via AirPlay Direct.

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.