[Our friends Martin and Brian have asked me to drop the old phonograph needle on some of their tunes, perhaps some lesser known, and report back to everyone.]
For all the glory autumn ushers in, Mother Nature growls, too. Here comes Switchback backed by the United Nations reminding us we could all get walloped like, well, like a twister in a trailer park.
Leave it to Martin and Brian to put some fun back in the forecast while the southeast soaks and the UN gives us a mere dozen years to adjust the world’s thermostat. And it all starts in McHenry County, Illinois, up where Martin McCormack spent his boyhood.
In the calm before the storm, Brian FitzGerald’s mandolin has a light plunky piano sound. Could be raindrops. Meanwhile Martin’s Michael Kelly acoustic bass softly rumbles low like far-distant thunder.
“Twister in a Trailer Park” is a tale of woe and weather. A teen-aged boy is blown away by a teen-aged beauty. “Her love hit me like a twister in a trailer park,” mourns heartstruck Marty. Then it’s verse after verse of smiling Switchback close harmony recounting all those earmarks of serious funnel clouds: weird-colored sky, big hail and airborne cows.
This song is a bonus track on 2013’s live CD American Roots and Celtic Soul. Album producers Jim and Dylan Sundberg mean to put you in the room with Switchback, close to the front row, for all twelve cuts. They do a fine job. “Twister . .” even invents some excuse for the audience to bark, arf and woof. Listeners are welcome to howl along at home.
Doug Kamholz is an itinerant washboard player who has freelanced for the New York Times, Washington Post and many lesser media. His most honest work was as a pig farmer in central Illinois, where he now lives and occasionally makes dinner for Switchback.
American Roots & Celtic Soul