Date:   12/20/2014

Switchback returns with old-fashioned sing-along and holiday favorites

Get into the holiday spirit by experiencing a "Midwestern Christmas" performance by Marty McCormack and Brian FitzGerald of the critically acclaimed duo, Switchback, when they return to the historic Thrasher Opera House in Green Lake on Saturday, December 20 at 7:30 p.m.

For this special holiday show, Marty and Brian will perform Christmas favorites such as "Oh, Holy Night," "Jingle Bells" and "Away in the Manger" from their holiday cd, A Very Switchback Christmas (2005), as well as Irish melodies, lively reels and jigs, and original songs. In addition, McCormack, a classically trained tenor, will sing an amazing unplugged version of Ava Maria, a song that is highly requested, year after year.  

Brian and Marty 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 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.

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.

Create some new holiday memories this year by joining us for Switchback: A Midwestern Christmas. Tickets are only $13 and can be purchased at the Thrasher office, Horicon Bank (Green Lake); Pick N’ Save, Ripon Drug (Ripon); Twister (Princeton) or by calling (920) 294-4279.  Online tickets available at www.thrasheroperahouse.com. 

Note: Every month, the Green Lake County Food Pantry provides emergency assistance to hundreds of families and individuals in need, which means that the shelves need replenishing on a continual basis.  Please join us in support of the Green Lake County Food Pantry program by bringing a donation of a non-perishable food item to the Switchback performance. Whether a can or a case, your gifts will help make the holidays brighter for area families in need.    

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