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  • Release Date 2010-11-01

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With Ghosts of the River Folk, Switchback creates a powerful tribute to the people and spirit of the upper Mississippi River, their musical home. Like a ride on John Hartford's beloved Julia Belle Swain riverboat winding its way down the Mississippi, this collection of songs takes you through the ever changing scenery and characters that make up this magical part of northeast Iowa. This release features all original tunes by the award winning songwriting duo of Brian FitzGerald and Martin McCormack.

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SwitchbackMartin McCormack, Brian FitzGerald

Brian FitzGerald and Martin McCormack of the duo Switchback have been playing their brand of eclectic Celtic and Americana music at sold-out concert halls, performing arts centers and festivals around the world for over twenty years. Switchback concerts feature a mix of Irish music and original songs from their catalog of over 300 tunes which have been described as “breathtaking scenery for your ears.” Switchback plays an exciting mix of mandolin, guitar, and bass and their harmonies have won them comparisons to famous duos, such as the Louvin Brothers, the Everly Brothers, and Simon and Garfunkel. Music Connection Magazine said of Switchback: "The words ‘American Roots & Celtic Soul’ only begin to describe this unusual act, whose vocal prowess is as pure as it is unique...there is no denying the stunning vocal blends that are achieved by this duo." Their Celtic music is authentically Irish, drawing praise from such traditional players as Matt Molloy of the group the Chieftains. Ireland has taken Switchback to her heart, with performances at art centers throughout the country and appearances on RTE (Raidió Teilifís Éireann). At the same time, their music is modern Celtic, with songs capturing the Irish of today as accurately as the Pogues and singer-songwriters like Christy Moore. But to pay attention only to the Celtic side of Switchback would be a disservice to the unique American roots music crafted by FitzGerald and McCormack. None other than the Grammy Award-winning producer Lloyd Maines chose to work with Switchback in producing three of their albums and considers the duo one of the most important acts playing Americana music today. Switchback tours throughout the United States, Canada, Ireland, the United Kingdom, Italy, and the Netherlands playing over 200 engagements a year. Their television specials “The Americana Sessions” and “The Celtic Sessions” have aired on PBS stations throughout the U.S. The band has also been working with Paul Mertens (who arranged the music for “Brian Wilson Reimagines Gershwin”) on orchestral scores for some of their original music. On top of their usual tour schedule, Switchback regularly presents outreach programs for schools, community events, senior citizen groups, and special needs audiences. They offer outreach programs on Celtic music, songwriting, and music appreciation as well as music residencies. Unusual, honest, heartfelt, humorous, personable, talented, spiritual, and spirited – these all describe the band Switchback.

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