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The king of swamp stomp, blues recording artist and producer Iron Mike Norton is consistently described by peers and critics as one of the most innovative and creative artists in the blues genre today. 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.
Born in Georgia, Iron Mike began his professional career while still in his teens, crawling out of the swamps of Florida as a bass player and sound engineer in the Tampa hard rock and metal scene. From there he went on to front a modestly successful country act that signed with Five Roses Records in 1995 and performed on the road with countless country legends like Willie Nelson, Lyle Lovett, and Wynonna Judd.
Inspired by the sounds his friend and legendary slide guitarist Sonny Landreth, Iron Mike left the country music genre and began to study slide guitar and the style of Landreth specifically.
Referred to as the "Rob Zombie of the blues", Iron Mike Norton broke onto(or perhaps more accurately "into") the blues scene in 2000 (as Michael Shaun Norton) with his debut CD Spooky & The Blue Voodoo Tribe. The release grabbed the attention off blues critics across the United States with its dark themes, over the top guitar work and Mike's uncommonly powerful roadhouse vocal style. In recent years, Iron Mike's work has been hailed as the foundation for an entirely new style of blues called "Swamp Stomp".
In 2002 Michael signed with the now defunct B&M Records and released 3 more CD's that further cemented his image as a blues outlaw. With songs like Spooked, Dead Man's Stomp, and a remake of Landreth's Congo Square, Michael continued to build his legacy of dark and somewhat foreboding music, delivered in a high energy package.
In early 2006, Iron Mike moved to GFO Records where he not only recorded more albums, but began working as a producer. Beginning with his release "Sledge", media attitudes about Iron Mike have sharply shifted. No longer referred to as an outlaw or outcast of the genre, many see Mike is a pioneer and innovator, breathing new life into a genre that some believe was on the decline.
In late 2007 Mike moved away from the blues and recorded his first progressive rock CD "Live Free or Die" featuring several tracks demonstrating his technical slide guitar wizardry, expanding Mike's audience to include fans of more progressive acts like Joe Satriani and Steve Vai.
All seemed to be going well until a severe motorcycle wreck in early 2010. While still in a wheel chair, Mike began writing and eventually recorded a traditional 2 piece Mississippi style project. The end result is the successful blues cd "Dirty South", which features a raw deep south style of blues normally associated with the likes of R.L. Burnside and Hound Dog Taylor.
Since then Iron Mike has seen a resurgence of success among blues and rock fans worldwide (particularly military audiences) with his blockbuster album Bad Monkey. In between juggling live performances with his ever expanding work as a producer for other artists and labels in a variety of genres, Mike is set to release yet another album in mid 2013 called Bloody Knuckles which will not only feature more of the "swamp stomp" style that he is famous for, but will also showcase Mike's work as an arranger with tracks featuring a full orchestra and a rare opportunity to hear the iron man on piano.
Iron Mike Norton