Jerry Castle’s recent tracks ‘Calm’, ‘Pick Up Your Guitar’ and ‘Tequila and Tears’ have seen the singer-songwriter tipped for bigger things. His heartfelt, booze-soaked Americana simmers with the energy of southern rock, pure country attitude and the emotive power of heartland rock, offering something new for fans of Old Dominion or Sturgill Simpson.
Now Jerry Castle builds upon his growing acclaim by sharing his new single ‘Make Do’. The song opens with a gritty, spiralling guitar riff before Castle’s husky, world-weary vocal exudes the virtues of kicking back to forget about your problems. It’s an anthem ready built for escapism, regardless of the cause of your troubles.
We got the chance to ask Jerry some questions, here is what he had to say.
Who were your musical influences growing up?
“Willie Nelson, Tom Petty, and Eddie Vedder, in that order. I could give you an extensive list of all the people I was influenced by but looking back, those are the three that are the most noticeable to me. I’ve always connected with the emotions, lyrics and delivery of a Willie Nelson song. I love the razor sharp songwriting and arrangements of Tom Petty and I’ve always been in awe of the amount of energy that Eddie Vedder is able to deliver with his voice. The common thread with all of these artists is that they’re lifers, so their music is simply an extension of the beings that they are”.
What has been your best gig?
“Gig? What’s that? Isn’t that something people did back in the olden days before COVID? Hell, I don’t know what my “best gig” was but looking back now, some of my most memorable were the ones that Sturgill Simpson and Old Dominion opened for me. In light of his recent passing, playing with Justin Townes Earle comes to mind as well. He was sober at the time and seemed to be working hard at staying that way. What struck me about Justin was just how down to earth and honest he was. I only met him that one time and he talked to me with the directness and openness of a lifelong friend”.
Can you tell us a bit about your music?
“I have a new single coming out on Sept 25 that’s called “Stars Align.” It’s a barnburner and it’s far and away the most traditional country song that I’ve ever put out. Imagine being at a Texas Barn Dance with everyone line dancing to a live band that’s led by fiddle and pedal steel guitar. That’s this song. It definitely has a bit of a different flavor than the rest of the album but the reality is, there are no two songs that are alike on this album. With that being said, I think that we were actually able to tie the record together in a way that makes perfect sense”.
Can you describe your music in 3 words?
“Cosmic Appalachian Soul”
What makes your music stand out?
“For better or for worse, my voice is distinct. Some people dig the uniqueness of it and some, not so much. I have the Appalachian “twang” and I have a rock element to my vocal delivery. That’s just how it is and who I am. I’d like to think the efficacy of my songwriting is a strength. If you’re being yourself and not trying to imitate someone else or some style, you’re not going to sound like anyone else. Now arriving at the place where you actually understand what all that entails and being able to apply it takes some time”.
What are your plans for the rest of 2020?
“I’m going to continue to work on writing my own ending (that’s a song on Midnight Testaments by the way). Do you like how I just quoted myself? I jut finished writing a song that I really like and that’s different than any song I’ve written before. That makes me want to record it sooner, rather than later, so I’ll probably do that this year. I’ll do a live stream for the album release. Right now I’m working on making it something cool and interesting because let’s be honest, most people are over live streams. I’ll probably produce another video or two this year, and I’ll just keep on being me and doing my art. I have a song that I did with the long-time Rolling Stones saxophone player Bobby Keys. I intend to put it out on Dec 18, that’s he and Keith Richards’ birthday. I recorded it with him in the last year of his life and finally re-wrote the song around Bobby’s performance. I like how it turned out! I have another song that I’ll release on New Years Eve”.
If you had to be remembered for one thing apart from your music what would you want it to be?
“Authenticity. It threatens the hell out of some folks in my personal orbit that I continue to be me and move forward, no matter what. When you don’t conform to be the person that people want or expect you to be, it threatens the hell out of them, especially the ones that subscribe to the illusion of control. I’m decisive. I’m the person that knows what’s best for me. I’m always seeking. I’m always trying to grow. I’m a person that’s gritty, so it’s not always pretty but I’m real. I’m me. I’m Jerry Castle”.
Do you have any gig’s coming up?
“I wish. We’ll do a livestream for the album release on Oct 16. We’ll announce those details soon. Other than that, it seems that Spring of 2021 is the earliest anyone is going to be able to get back to touring”.
By Siân Parker