Iron Mike Norton, Jerry Castle
2514 10th Ave S
Birmingham, AL, 35205
Doors 9:00 PM / Show 10:00 PM
This event is 21 and over
Watch & Listen
Iron Mike Norton
Blues Ocala, FL
The king of swamp stomp, blues rock recording artist and producer Iron Mike Norton is described by peers and critics as one of the most innovative and creative artists in the genre. Iron Mike combines elements of modern styles like hip hop, rock and techno with traditional hill country slide guitar blues. The result is a sound truly unique to Iron Mike alone.
Based out of the swamps of Florida, Iron Mike has performed for audiences in both the USA and abroad. His ability to cross over into other formats has garnered him the opportunity to work with top blues artists, but giants from other genres, like Willie Nelson, Rob Zombie, and his mentor, Sonny Landreth.
Iron Mike at Ground Zero Blues Club, in Clarksdale, MS
Although he hails from Florida, many fans knew Iron Mike as one of the host acts at Morgan Freeman's, Ground Zero Blues Club, in Clarskdale, MS. The time Iron Mike spent in Clarksdale is credited as a major influence on his "swamp stomp' style.
A multi-instrumentalist, Iron Mike is known by most as a slide guitarist. He is the protege of legendary slide guitar virtuoso, Sonny Landreth. The two became friends in 1997, and Sonny has remained a constant source of advice and support throughout Iron Mike's career.
Iron Mike and Sonny Landreth after their show together in Lake Worth, FL
Mike is no one trick pony, though. He is a talented songwriter as well, composing nearly everything he has ever released, and having his songs used in both commercials and film.
He has toured the US every year since 2012, playing with acts ranging from bluesman, Eric Sardinas, to the legendary southern rock band, the Outlaws. In 2013 he headlined the Greatest Slide Show On Earth Tour, then followed it up with tours of Canada in 2014 and 2015. Much of the footage from these tours became the main subject of the documentary film, Devil In My Kitchen, that profiled several blues artists, most of whom were regular performers at Ground Zero Blues Club.
Since 2012, Iron Mike has released 4 LP's, including, Bad Monkey, Bloody Knuckles, Box Fulla Bones, and Swamp Stomp.
Americana, Country, singer-songwriter, folk, rock from Nashville TN
Jerry Castle is an American singer-songwriter from the small Appalachian town of Abingdon, VA. He’s a guy that you’re pretty sure you know. Not only does his heart shaped face, dark brown curly hair and beard make you feel like he’s an old college acquaintance that you’ve smoked a joint with back in the day but you also find yourself thinking you’ve heard his songs before, though you likely haven’t.
Hot on the heels of his critically acclaimed 2013 release, Desperate Parade, Jerry Castle will release his fourth solo record South Holston on Aug 26, 2014. The title is a nod to the lake that Castle spent his teenage years “trying to figure out his place in the world, pushing boundaries, and flirting with death” as he puts it. Chad Brown (Robert Plant, Jim Lauderdale, Ryan Adams) co-produced South Holston with Castle and manifold three-time Grammy winner Warren Riker (The Fugees, Shooter Jennings, Down) handled the mixing duties. South Holston was recorded live at Patty Griffin’s Studio G in East Nashville in late 2013. The band that was assembled for the recording of South Holston includes pedal steel guitarist Russ Pahl (Ray LaMontagne, Kings Of Leon, Lana Del Rey), upright bassist Dave Roe (Ray LaMontagne, Johnny Cash, Dwight Yoakam), as well as his full-time bandmates Matthew Burgess (percussion) and Adam Fluhrer (guitar), who were in the middle of a two month US tour. Of the album, Castle comments “We spend so much of our lives being controlled by fear and the societal expectations of our peers. Having the courage to do what’s in your heart and the wherewithal to allow things to ‘just be’ seems to be the real key as well the real struggle for most of us. That’s what this record is about. It was important to me that this record cover a wide spectrum of country music while still maintaining some sense of continuity and I feel like we accomplished that.” Like many of the troubadours that came before him, Jerry Castle has had more than his share of ups and downs in the music industry.
His flare for writing hooks has been both a blessing and a curse. Many Americana purist have labeled Castle as “too pop for Americana” and Music Row considers him to be “too Americana for country.” In 2006 Music Row did what Music Row does; they paired him with professional songwriters that write everyday from 11:00 A.M. until 2:00 P.M. in pursuit of “the hit.” This nearly ended his career as an artist. “Up until that point I had always written from the heart and I think that suddenly being in a place where I was trying to write songs simply for monetary gain stymied my creativity and my soul rebelled against it.” In 2007 Castle developed a case of writers block that ended up lasting for over a year and suddenly he found himself without the outlet that had always brought some sense of peace to his tumultuous life. On top of that, he was going through a divorce, struggling to financially support his infant daughter, working as a secondary country radio promoter during the day and waiting tables at night. Determined to put his financial troubles behind, he walked away from his music and began a career in corporate America. For over a year it seemed that corporate America might stick but like all true songwriters, the religion of music soon found its way back into that same soul that rebelled against writing songs to be music row hits.
In 2009 Castle began writing and recording songs that eventually became his 2010 release Don’t Even Ask. This was the first full-length album that he had released since 2004’s Back Side Of Down. Since returning to his calling as a songwriter he has continued to experience more than his share of ups and downs. What has changed since his return is that walking away from music no longer seems to be something that is a consideration. “Of course I’d like to be more successful than I have been up to this point but overall, I’m more at peace with the fact that I’m meant to be a singer-songwriter and I’m learning that my path is unique and that it’s not meant to be compared to other singer-songwriters paths.”
Jerry Castle’s a whole lot a rock n roll wrapped in a whole lot a country. He has become best known for his country-rock songwriting about heartbreak, hard living, and lessons learned from a colorful life both at home and on the road. He still believes that songwriting should be magical, not contrived and if the last four years are any indication, his best work is yet to come.
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