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    Most Popular Songs (more)

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    Most Popular Albums (more)

    1Bolinree [2005]
    2The Fire That Burns [2002]
    3Tenth Anniversary Collection [2009]
    4Very Switchback Christmas [2006]
    5Kanoka [2013]
    6Falling Water River [2010]
    Ghosts Of The River Folk [2010]


    For over two decades, the musical partnership of Brian FitzGerald and Martin McCormack, known as Switchback, has been entertaining audiences around the world with their unique American Roots ~ Celtic Soul blend of music. In 1986, FitzGerald was a mandolin student of Jethro Burns and had already been touring with Clifton Chenier when he met McCormack, an award-winning voice student at the American Conservatory of Chicago. They were both chosen by legendary County Kerry composer and concertina master Terrence "Cuz" Teahan to join his traditional Irish group, thus becoming part of one of the last generations to be directly influenced by a master of this musical genre.

    By 1988, the duo were continuing Teahan's musical legacy with the Wailin' Banshees, joining forces with banjo great Bert McMahon of Woodford, County Galway and Chicago fiddle legend Mary McDonagh. The Banshees flourished, but it was the power of seeing such Texan greats as Stevie Ray Vaughan, Joe Ely, and Rodney Crowell that fueled FitzGerald and McCormack's songwriting and ultimately led to the formation of Switchback in 1993.

    Their first album was literally a commercial success, with Chevrolet using one of the songs to promote the Chevy Blazer. Switchback's music eventually reached the ear of Grammy-winning producer Lloyd Maines, who then produced several albums for the band, with The Fire That Burns being selected as one of Performing Songwriter Magazine's top choices for 2003. More recently, the Irish Music Association named Switchback the top duo for festivals, concerts, and pubs throughout North America, The European Union, and specifically Ireland and the United Kingdom for 2008-2009.

    And while the Irish Music Association has lauded them, Switchback is more than an Irish band. Equally at home in a line-up that includes Beau Soleil or the Moody Blues as they are with Gaelic Storm or Cherish the Ladies, Dirty Linen magazine hails them as "one of the Midwest's most exciting roots duos."

    Their highly energetic and engaging performances have made them headliners in listening rooms such as the famous Bluebird Cafe of Nashville and Matt Malloy's in Westport, County Mayo, Ireland. Known as "the duo who sounds like eight people," they are also festival favorites, entertaining large audiences at the Stan Rogers Folk Festival in Nova Scotia, Canada and over 15,000 at the Summer Celebration in Muskegon, Michigan. Their orchestral presentations of traditional and original Irish music with the 75-piece Northwest Indiana Symphony Orchestra at the 3,400-seat Star Plaza Theater in Merrillville, Indiana, received standing ovations. Indeed, as Marc Smith, founder of the Poetry Slam says, "Switchback's music hits an 'everybody' note."

    Switchback's music - 11 original albums to date - is frequently played on radio stations such as RTE Radio One with Pat Kenny in Dublin, Ireland. The Americana Sessions and Celtic Sessions programs, produced by an Emmy-award winning staff at WTTW, Chicago, can be seen on Public Broadcasting System television stations throughout the United States.

    Switchback also conducts educational programs and songwriting workshops for school and community organizations. They have developed several instructional sessions and often customize programs to fit the curriculum or concept of the presenter. Many of these seminars are held in elementary and high schools and libraries but also have been conducted in settings as far-ranging as juvenile detention centers and church camps.

    Wherever they play, no matter the size or age of audience, Switchback always captivates and charms folks with their energy and creativity.

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