Art across Indiana
Indiana Arts, Connecting you to a world of art
Griffith, IN 46319
219-921-0956 (fax)
Original Americana, traditional Celtic, plus a few nods to genres off the beaten path delivered by two excellent musicians who create a full-band sound. Superb songwriting and harmonies reflect an uncommon grasp on the roots of American music, taking the traditional into the present.
When they met in 1984, Switchback's Martin McCormack was studying voice in college, and playing in a well-known Chicago pop band with his brothers. Brian FitzGerald, moonlighting as a house painter, was playing Freddy Green-style guitar on Chicago's Maxwell Street and learning mandolin from Jethro Burns. Both were drawn into Irish music: McCormack through his family's connection with County Mayo and FitzGerald through the meeting with County Kerry legend "Cuz Teahan." Over the next few years, the pair played together in three different bands, two of them traditional Irish. McCormack contributed bass and his classically trained tenor, and FitzGerald supplied guitar and fleet mandolin. By 1993, the tug of their own songwriting talents and love for American roots music inspired them to break away and form their own duo - Switchback. Their partnership has produced ten albums to date, ranging from the lean and energetic debut, Ain't Goin' Back in 1994, to the honky-tonk jukebox medley Dar's Place in 1998, to the critically acclaimed Celtic twang of The Fire that Burns in 2002, the Irish roots album Bolinree in 2005 and the much praised, Americana song-cycle Falling Water River in 2006. The Fire that Burns and Bolinree were both produced by Grammy-winning producer, Lloyd Maines. Showcasing a repertoire ranging from sentimental ballads to blistering rockers, the duo deliver a powerful sound rivaling that of larger ensembles. While their musical paths have taken them to a variety of genres, Martin and Brian have never abandoned their traditional Celtic roots. At once eliciting praise and frustration by critics who find it difficult to pigeonhole their eclectic sound, Switchback continues to be driven by their mission to create and bring music to far-flung places and unlikely audiences. And with the rhythmic cadence of their dancing shoes, the audiences return the favor, paving the winding road for the band's well-worn wheels. RECOGNITION, MEMBERSHIPS AND AWARDS: Illinois Arts Council ArtsTour Roster Illinois Arts Council Artist in Excellence Iowa Arts Council ArtsTour Roster North American Folk Alliance Member Americana Music Association Member ASCAP-Plus Awards Recipient 2005-Present
Services Offered
  • Performances
  • Exhibitions/Demonstrations
  • Education presentations to schools, community organizations
  • Speaking About My Work Before a Group
  • Doing demonstrations
As full-time musicians, Switchback is available at any time subject to their existing schedule.
Variable depending upon type of program and length of performance.
Contact Information

Ref Id: 4004

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