[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. As sometimes happens, this is a tangent.]
Word’s come down from corporate. I got the memo. Either I generate more reader response or my continued supply of free Econo Lodge pens is in peril.
Let’s see. What can I do?
Ah, I think I’ve got it. As many of you know, Switchback is hard at work on a new full-length recording rumored to be dropping (as the kids say) this very spring.
So, hey, how ‘bout this?
What are you, dear reader, hoping to hear? What do you want next from Switchback? And if you happen to have heard that the new CD is called Birds of Prey and is from the genre Americana, let’s just forget that for a moment and dream without fences.
For example, I would like the new album to include Brian FitzGerald playing some classical guitar. I have seen this only a couple times on stage, though it did happen in our living room thanks to my lovely wife’s request. The hands turn. The fingers arch. Then timeless runs and harmonics excite the air. Yes, I really would like more of that.
What about you? Hoping for a bluegrass mandolin breakdown? Maybe a 1930s jump jive? Or what?
I wish Martin McCormack would find some known song and then deliver it to us a cappella. He uses that voice so well on “Ave Maria” and “Danny Boy,” but I want to hear it on something like “Stay with Me” which also has a prayerful spirit and originally was recorded by Frank Sinatra.
What about you? Waiting for a new Mass? Or maybe a song cycle on climate change?
For me it would be great if Martin and Brian cooked up more Americana songs based on too-often-overlooked histories of specific places. They did that with “Van Tassel” on their Kanoka CD where the opening lyric is “Highway 20 stretches out like a beggar’s hand.”
What about you? Looking for a tune about one of your beloved spots? Want the band to come up with a rhyme scheme for Keokuk? “Well, my heart got stuck . . ” Or how about Duluth? “Oh, Lake Superior’s truth . . “
So please chime in here. More Irish road? More Midwest folk? More songs pointed at heaven? More twisters in trailer parks? What would set your toes tapping and leave you humming all the day long?
Do let us know. There’s a little LEAVE A REPLY button right below. And remember, my pen supply depends on you.
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