Brian FitzGerald and Martin McCormack are ushering in an early St. Patrick's Day celebration this weekend.
The duo, also known as Switchback, will present a concert at 7:30 p.m. Sunday at Theatre at the Center in Munster.
In addition to Switchback's performances of Irish/Celtic music, McCormack said they'll also present Irish dancers from Colleen's School of Dance in Sterling, Ill. to take part in the celebration.
"They'll be dancing to traditional Irish music and performing American clogging," McCormack said.
"Theatre at the Center is one of our favorite places to play," McCormack said, adding it's an intimate space that allows for audience interaction.
Also performing with Switchback will be drummer Takeshi Horiuchi, who is versed in the dynamic Celtic drumming style.
FitzGerald said performing a week before St. Patrick's Day is great because it gets all of the fun associated with the holiday started early.
"And people look at St. Patrick's Day as the beginning of spring. People come together to have a party, listen to Irish music and to have a good time," FitzGerald said.
McCormack and FitzGerald were originally part of County Kerry concertina master Terrence 'Cuz' Teahan's group before teaming up to form Switchback. Through the years, they've also performed with artists such as Liz Carroll, Cherish the Ladies, Gaelic Storm and John Williams.
Both musicians said they've long enjoyed being part of a duo with a focus on Irish music.
'It's a great life," FitzGerald said. He added they both contribute good ideas for their performances and work as a team. "Having a partnership like that really helps. His strengths and my weaknesses pair up nicely," FitzGerald said.
"We met 27 years ago like a lot of musicians do, both playing as part of a double bill at a club. And we both saw that the other guy was very serious about music," McCormack said, adding they eventually decided to strike out on their "musical journey" together.
Switchback performs about 200 shows a year and in May will be releasing a new album of American roots music.
In addition to Switchback's concert Sunday, audiences can purchase dinner tickets for supper featuring corned beef and cabbage, red potatoes, carrots, rye bread, Irish soda bread, and Irish whiskey cake. A cash bar will also be available.