"One of the top 20 CDs we've found anywhere in the last year!"
"Hearing his music is like the experience of not realizing how thirsty you are until you start drinking...There's no doubt that this is some of the most gorgeous male folk you'll hear."
"[His] music is honest and true. A real breath of fresh air in an ocean of superficiality -- with songwriting that reveals the insight of a skilled poet twice his age."
Ron Craighead, KGLT Radio, Bozeman, MT
"...A depth of lyrics and musicality of guitar playing as anyone on the circuits -- if not more so."
Chris Cunningham, Singer/Songwriter and member of the folk duo, Storyhill.
Regardless of season or venue, Aaron Espe is a constant.
Whether swaddled in the grass of a Great Plains folk fest or enveloped in the soft din of a city cafe, Aaron Espe's music summons from its listeners a resurrected depth that otherwise cowers within during the monotonous work week.
Cherry Garrard (Antarctic explorer) wrote that "It is necessary to be cut off from civilization and all that it means to realize fully the power music has to recall the past, or the depths of meaning in it to soothe the present."
In this sense attending an Aaron Espe concert is a barbaric experience. Espe's melodies effectively work to unfetter hearers from our "civilized" busyness, interjecting space to reflect, space to be human again.
Alighting upon the folk music scene two years ago from the upland wilds of Northern Minnesota, Aaron has begun to garner the attention that one might expect from a significant young talent. His recent plumes include:
- "My Whole Life" a top 20 album for 2006 (intelligentpop.com)
- Feature artist for the 2007 Volkswagen Auto Tour.
- Feature artist for the 2007 Folk Alliance, Memphis, Tennessee.
- Among the top-ranked unsigned folk artists (myspace.com)
If such a thing as the cliched "total package" exists then attending one of Aaron Espe's concerts offers attendees a hint as to what it may be. The beauty of his sound, coupled with the irresistible aura of a shy guy, stirs a desire to join the now burgeoning army of Espe's unpaid publicists. Among his recent surge of supporters is President of CD Baby (World's Largest Seller of Independent Music), Derek Sivers:
"Aaron, I love your 'My Whole Life' CD so much I'm going to feature it on the Front Page of CD baby for a few days. We get about 100 new albums sent to us a day (about 100,000 total), and yours is one of the best I've ever heard."
A few of Espe's recordings from the abovementioned "My Whole Life" were conceived in a rapid thrust of creativity (i.e. "Grace"), while most have been the result of a painfully slow breach birth of inspiration. Consequently the hearer is aware that Espe's songs are more than trite phrasings, but rather liquefied shards of an authentic soul cast generously out to those within earshot.
Without benefit of the high-powered promotion that hammers mainstream music into our consciousness, Aaron Espe's fans greedily await the release of his second album (Summer 2007) nonetheless. -- Steve Grosz