Aaron Bearden
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Aaron Bearden

Panama City, Florida, United States | SELF

Panama City, Florida, United States | SELF
Band Rock Singer/Songwriter


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The Placeholder Story (After Midnight Records, 2009) (in rotation on XM radio's "new artists" station)



I'm a singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist from Panama City, FL. I began playing the guitar at age 11 and started writing soon after, having grown up on The Beatles, The Moody Blues, Pink Floyd, The Who, and many other classic acts. In my teen years I began picking up other instruments, including the clarinet, flute, piano, and drums. My list of influences grew to include more singer-songwriters such as Bob Dylan, Townes Van Zandt, and Steve Earle, as well as various authors and filmmakers.

As a teen I started playing in bands in various roles, including lead/rhythm guitar, bass, drums, mandolin, and vocals. I've played in rock, blues, folk, bluegrass, and Americana groups, performing both covers and originals.

My writing leans heavily toward descriptive, conversational lyrics, peppered with references to other works, especially songs, books, and films. As a fan, I like to connect with elements of the real world in the music I listen to, and I try to offer that same chance for connection in the songs I write. What I've always looked for in the artists I listen to is a feeling that there's nothing the artist would rather be doing than playing that song at that moment. That sense of honesty and urgency is what I aim for in my work.

In the past year my debut album, The Placeholder Story, was released on After Midnight Records, a local indie lable, and I began focusing more on playing solo gigs. I've played opening and headlining slots locally, with other local and regional musicians, and I've opened for Pat Dinizio of the Smithereens.

My solo shows tend to be acoustic, and I like to shift rhythms and dynamics to keep the songs fresh and surprising. Often a song will take on a new life onstage, featuring extra lyrics or improvised musical passages. The tone of the music can change from night to night, depending on the crowd, setting, or the song in question. There are quiet, fingerstyle songs, and there are loud, raucous songs, and I think there's room for both, depending upon the emotion and story of the song, and the venue in which it's being played.