Switchback’s holiday concerts are always a crowd pleaser by including lots of audience involvement and singing along with well-known favorites such as "Jingle Bells,” "Away in the Manger,” "Up on the Housetop,” "Oh Holy Night” and "Frosty the Snowman.” In 2005, Switchback released an album titled, A Very Switchback Christmas, which contains all of these songs and others such as, "Silver Bells” and their classic version of "Silent Night” with an extra verse in Gaelic. The show is also filled with stories of their travels and a healthy dose of comedy thrown in for good measure.
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 Malloy 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.
This event is supported in part by a grant from the Oshkosh Area Community Foundation and the Wisconsin Arts Board with funds from the State of Wisconsin and the National Endowment for the Arts.