Switchback Road (Bluegrass Band) was first formed in 2005, based In Cambridge,
(Southwest) Ontario Canada. They played regularly on theDanforth in Toronto,
and included Mike Kirley, his sons Dan and Colin, with Derek Pert on banjo. They
were nominated for "most promising new band" at the Central Ontario Bluegrass
Awards in 2006. Their original composition "That Old Kitchen Floor" was included on the
"North ToOntario" CD Sampler in 2007. They disbanded in 2009, when Dan and Colin were
hired to teach High School Music in the WaterlooWellington area. Mike has reformed the band with members from the band "Southpaw" based in the Kitchener-Waterloo area of southwestern Ontario Canada.
Mike Kirley (primarily mandolin and vocals) is the Workshops coordinator for The Tottenham Bluegrass Festival
(http://tottenhambluegrass.ca/), as well as being Slowjam coordinator for
The Waterloo-Wellington Bluegrass Music Association.
He is also editor for The Bluegrass Music Association of Canada magazine.
He played mandolin for Hometown Bluegrass from 1985 to disbanding in 2014.
Clarence Kubusheskie (banjo) "Kubie" has been playing banjo for thirtythree years, and
has opened for Del McCoury, The Country Gentlemen,and the Bluegrass Cardinals.
He also plays banjo for Ephriam Frey and Olde Tyme Country Band. https://www.facebook.com/Ephriamfrey.OldeTymeCountry .
Bands he has played in: Possum Creek, The Camels and Pine River.
Al Neff (guitar, vocals)has been raised in a Bluegrass family from the Kingston area. He is also treasurer of the Waterloo Wellington Bluegrass Music association. He often helps Mike with the Slowjam on Tuesday nights at the Galt Legion. Al has been playing guitar since he was a boy..
His influences are John Hartford, Jim and Jesse McReynolds, and Chris Thile.
Drew Elmer ( bass and vocals)
has been singing since the age of 5, when he and his sister regularly sang in church. In his
teens he performed at the Ford Centre for The Performing Arts with the Achill Chorale Society with the Hereford
men's choir visiting from England. In 1993 (age12)he got involved with the Tottenham Bluegrass festival;that's when the bluegrass bug took hold.
Around the age of 21 a new bluegrass jam session had just started at
the Man of York pub and he was asked to swing by. When he walked in the door the jamming
was hot but there was a lonely beat up bass laying on the floor. When the music stopped his
friend asked him,
"Hey, can you play this thing?" Drew promptly replied
"Nope, but I'll learn!" And has been jamming there ever since.
Drew is the lead singer for the popular Celtic band, ScIrish with his dad for the past ten years playing guitar and bass. For the past three years he has played bass and handled lead vocals and harmonies with the Bluegrass band, Beeton Creek Rising.
Samuel Ganton: Fiddle, vocals.
Samuel Ganton is a Cambridge-based fiddle player and architecture student who stumbled into bluegrass while working in Saskatchewan in the winter of 2014, and hasn't looked back. He may occasionally look sideways, as he still pursues celtic and prairie old-time styles of playing, and teaches young violin students. But he's working to get more dirt into his bow-stroke and more grunge under his strings. He's played for years in churches, in a family band, and more recently at acoustic brunches in Saskatoon. Samuel is excited to join Switchback Road for a winding journey through the pulsing soundscapes of contemporary and classic bluegrass.
About Switchback Road