Tim Norris plays bluegrass banjo with The Dollar Brothers, Surefire, and The Red & White Bluegrass Jam house band, and he founded Castle Ford Studios, where he specializes in recordings of bluegrass and bluegrass gospel music.
Tim grew up in Watauga County, where listening to bluegrass music around the house was a regular occurrence. “Mom and dad were always playing bluegrass records around the house, and that was what first got me interested,” Tim says. He also heard a lot of music at church, and he started playing the piano in services at a young age. When he was around 13 years old, Tim had taught himself enough on the guitar to start playing it with the church band.
When Tim was in high school, one of his good friends showed him the banjo he was learning to play and shared some Flatt and Scruggs music. Tim also attended a bluegrass event at a local apple orchard with his father and got to hear The Dollar Brothers perform for the first time. Between discovering the banjo, Flatt and Scruggs, and seeing a local bluegrass band perform live, Tim knew he wanted to learn to play banjo. His dad told him if he was serious that he would help Tim get his first banjo.
It wasn’t long before Tim was playing banjo with his first band, Sounds of Bluegrass, out of Mountain City. He played with them for a couple years when the Dollar Brothers invited him to join their band on bass. Tim eventually moved to the banjo slot in the Dollar Brothers Band, when another member retired from the group, and he continues to hold the role today. Tim also started filling in on bass and banjo with his good friends and picking buddies – Tom Isaacs and Rob Norris – in the band Surefire. The core of Surefire also makes up the house band for a twice monthly bluegrass jam in the Boone area called the Red White & Bluegrass Jam.
In addition to performing and singing with these groups, Tim has become known in the region for his prowess in the studio as a recording engineer. Tim started a home studio in July 2005, which has continued to grow ever since. Tim has made recordings of several local bluegrass artists and groups, including Steve Lewis, John Bryan, Tom Isaacs, Larry Efaw, Kody Norris, Jason Burleson, Bobby Hicks, Butch Robbins, James King, and ClayBank.
Tim is available for performances with The Dollar Brothers and Surefire, and artists may contact him for more information about Castle Ford Studios.