Martin McCormack and Brian FitzGerald, known together as SWITCHBACK, first performed together as members of the Wailin' Banshees, an Irish band well established in the 1980's Chicago music scene. The band was successful, but Marty and Brian had a more far-reaching musical vision. They had begun writing songs which combined the rich Celtic musical traditions with a vibrant, infectious blend of blues, folk and jazz. It was music that told great stories, all the time beckoning your feet to move and your hands to clap.
In 1993, they left the Banshees to pursue this musical vision. In the 10 years and countless miles since that departure, SWITCHBACK has traveled the country, introducing their unique sounds to audiences of all types. They have played in clubs and pubs throughout the land, but have also brought musical education to many schools, and have appeared in numerous festivals, both Irish and otherwise.
In live performance, this duo constantly amazes audiences with the musical breadth and energy of a much larger band. Brian weaves intricate figures with the mandolin, then moments later, opens the floodgates with powerfully percussive acoustic guitar work. His unique sound has its foundation in his many collaborations with Chicago's blues and jazz greats. Marty contributes pulsing, sinewy bass lines, tying the sound together, while giving it room to breathe. Beyond his instrumental work, Marty possesses a tremendously versatile voice. He is equally at home singing a raucous blues number or a gorgeous Irish ballad. When the two band members blend their voices, the rich sound is well beyond the sum of its parts. The CD Nancy Whiskey captures the excitement and spontaneity that normally are only experienced in a live performance.
Over the course of eight recordings (a ninth is in final production stages), SWITCHBACK has produced a significant body of work. On their two most recent recordings, they have been fortunate to have Lloyd Maines at the production controls. While the band's early recordings continue to delight listeners, the sessions with Lloyd have resulted in the most richly textured sounds to date. It's no wonder that Performing Songwriter magazine rated The Fire That Burns as one of the 12 best independent releases of 2002.
PO Box 4583
Oak Brook IL 60522