trou·ba·dour | \ ˈtrü-bə-ˌdȯr
: poets and singers, often of knightly rank, who used to travel around and perform for noble families in Italy and France in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. Troubadours made chivalry a high art, writing poems and singing about chivalrous love, creating the mystique of refined damsels, and glorifying the gallant knight on his charger. Troubadour was a fitting name for such creative artists; it derives from an Old Occitan word meaning "to compose."
: people sometimes refer to contemporary musicians as troubadours, especially when the words of their songs are an important part of their music.
What Being a Troubadour Means To Us
: a musician or group of musicians who are the lucky few of us who have not only found their true passion in life, but have chosen to pursue their calling with unwavering purpose, no matter the cost. Their music is storytelling, forged from the grind of life on the road, the relationships that form, and the everlasting bonds that are created.
Their Art Imitates Life.
Rounder Records recording duo Darin and Brooke Aldridge has spent a decade amassing a fan base, reaping awards, becoming Grand Ole Opry favorites, and issuing a string of well-received albums. But the release of their latest album, Inner Journey, is a diploma of excellence for the team. The album garnered the duo their highest chart debut to date, entering the Billboard Bluegrass Album chart at #2.
Brooke recently took home the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) award for Female Vocalist of the Year for the third consecutive year. In 2017, Darin received the IBMA award for Mentor of the Year.
Darin & Brooke's list of TV appearances include PBS, Great American Gospel, Bluegrass Road, RFD-TV, Blue Highways TV, Songs of the Mountain, Woodsongs, Larry’s Country Diner, and Music City Roots. Music videos “Wildflower” and “Tennessee Flat Top Box,” and most recently, “Every Time You Leave,” were heavily featured on outlets including CMT, CMT Edge, GAC, Bluegrass Ridge TV, and The Bluegrass Situation.
“Husband and wife duo Darin & Brooke Aldridge have carved out one of the fastest rising careers on the acoustic music scene today.”
- Billboard Magazine
“There's a lot about the new generation of bluegrass that surely is inspiring, and Darin and Brooke are two of my favorite of this great new generation. It's even better to find out they are equally great as people.”
- Vince Gill, Country Music Hall of Fame member
“Brooke asserts herself as one of the more powerful female vocalists on the scene.”
It is only fitting that The Contenders will kick-off the first of the BPAC Troubadour Series, a series focused on individual and bands with North Carolina roots. The duo, Josh Day and Jay Nash, embody the true spirit of what it means to be troubadours and their latest album, "Laughing with the Reckless" is a testament to their strong bond and shared experiences of life on the road.
"Not many people know what it feels like, I fear, to be in so many strangers’ homes sharing music and stories, food and drink. But the troubadour knows. We do it all the time. And The Contenders mean to let you know it’s real, it gives them hope, and, lately, it breaks their hearts."
Opening for The Contenders is rising star and North Carolina native, Aaron Burdett.
Aaron was this past year's Grand Prize Winner of Our State Magazine's Carolina Songs Award with "Going Home to Carolina.
The singer/songwriter was also just listed as one of the most important western NC musicians by WNC Magazine, along with Doc Watson, The Avett Bros, and The Steep Canyon Rangers.