The singer, songwriter, and musician has been playing and or teaching music for decades. However 2016, was special as she released her first solo CD, the appropriately named A Long Time Comin.
After great feedback from fans, Switzer can now hang her hat on the fact critics and her peers also officially liked it.
A Long Time Comin is nominated for Roots Album of the Year with the Saskatchewan Country Music Awards (SCMA) and Switzer is also nominated for All Star Band (Keys).
She is beyond thrilled.
“It’s very rewarding. In fact, everything that has happened since the album came out is rewarding,” she states with a touch of enthusiasm. “All I ever wanted to do was just make a record. My goal was to just record it and then maybe sell a few off the stage at gigs. Then I sold 500 copies in 10 days. I never wanted to have a CD release party, then my fellow musicians talked me into it and it sold out. Dear friends came, kids from my graduating class in Central Butte came and others came miles away, plus all the musicians who played in the album. No one even hesitated when I asked them ... talented people.
“Then at Christmas I sold even more CDs. I’m almost sold out. I have less than 50 left. It’s just been amazing.”
Switzer says in reflecting, it still blows her away that a who’s who of southwest Saskatchewan musicians and singer wanted to contribute to her album.
Besides producer/engineer Mark Penner, the all-stars included Al and Jacqueline Hudec, Michael Tetrault, Vern Michaels, Terry Neudorf, Earl Harder, Paula McGuigan, Eliza Doyle, Corinne Newton, Paulette Hadden, Rri Olson, and Donovan Epp to name a few.
“What a feeling that when you are an older musician like myself, that I must have done something right because I have all these musician friends that I have gathered up over the years that wanted to play in my album,” she explains. “As far as reflecting on the production, I love what everyone did on the album. I wouldn’t change a single thing except my vocals. It’s tough singing in the studio. I’m much more comfortable on stage, so I am going to go to Mark’s studio and just practise singing in a studio atmosphere so I can be ready for my next project.”
Switzer has been nominated seven times for SCMA awards and and says it never gets old. She has worked hard from the time she started piano lessons when she was 10 years old and also in being accepted by her peers.
Switzer says all of the diligent practise and effort has paid off — whenever she gets hired to play keyboard for someone or teach students herself.
She is a true music pioneer in the southwest as she is one of the forces behind the Southwest chapter of the SCMA. She is proud of the work the SW SCMA does in putting on shows and help in providing a grant program for artists who are recording.
Asked if she was proud of how well her fellow Saskatchewan Country Music Association (Southwest chapter) did, she was rather emphatic.
“Damn right. They are dear friends, my producer (Penner) ... musicians I play with ... one of my students (Becky Neustaeter). Although it was a lot of work, I’m so glad that I founded the SCMA Southwest Chapter. I thought it would be so cool to create a community of musicians and that’s what it is seven years later,” she explains. “That is very gratifying. Plus, our chapter really pushed for the Roots Categories because there are so many roots/traditional artists in the southwest. At the SCMA awards held in Nipawin in 2013, other than Larry Krause, every musician on the stage in the Roots Showcase was from the Southwest Chapter: Corinne Newton, Eliza Doyle, Myshel Pyjaar, Mark Penner and Dave Cyca. What a feeling.
“I’ve also been nominated twice for Country Music Person of the year, winning in 2011. That shows that maybe in some way I’m changing the world for the better and isn’t that what our work in life should be about?”