It’s refreshing to hear an honest voice like Glenna Switzer wave the flag for a more traditional, rootsy style of country music. If you like your country with more steel guitar and less electronic beats then Switzer’s music will make you feel right at home.
With her authentic, down home approach to songwriting and natural gift for crafting a memorable hook, Switzer is the real deal in the Saskatchewan music scene. Her personal songs have that comfortable, worn-in sound that you swear you’ve heard before. You can hear shades of Loretta Lynn and Glen Campbell infused with the piano stylings of Jerry Lee Lewis and Fats Domino, but with a distinct mix that Switzer makes her own. According to Switzer, “I am an old rocker, but when I write songs they come out pretty traditional country.”
Based in Swift Current, Glenna Switzer is a veteran of the Saskatchewan country music scene, singing and playing keyboards onstage and in the studio with several established bands and artists. However, it wasn’t until 2016 that she finally decided to shine the spotlight on her own songs. Co-produced by Switzer with Mark Penner, the aptly titled “Long Time Comin'” is chock full of fun two-steppers and misty-eyed ballads that will surely resonate with listeners.
Every debut album has a story. For Glenna Switzer, the long gestation period of her first album began when she was a young prairie girl in Central Butte singing along to classic records with a hairbrush as a microphone. For her, these records were her “best friends” and planted the seeds to become a professional musician. As she got older she took piano lessons and quickly excelled at this instrument. When she was drinking age she cut her teeth onstage at local jams in and around her new hometown of Swift Current, eventually becoming a fixture in the cover band circuit across Saskatchewan with Backroads and Glenna Switzer & Blackwater, which at one time featured a 12 year old prodigy Clayton Linthicum (Kacy & Clayton) on lead guitar.
In recent years, Switzer has been a full-time member of The Vern Michaels Band and has performed with Will Ardell, Mark Penner, Corinne Newton, and Oran Anderson. As well, she has played on albums by The Vern Michaels Band, Laura Hayes, Corinne Newton and Mark Penner. This experience caught the eyes of industry folk, leading to her being nominated for seven Saskatchewan Country Music Awards and taking home two trophies: 2011 Country Music Person of the Year and 2012 Keyboard Player of the Year.
When not performing, Glenna Switzer has been busy teaching music to a group of students that has included Colter Wall (who has been receiving substantial international buzz) and Dana Rempel (Bears in Hazenmore). Add in being a founder of the Southwest Chapter of the Saskatchewan Country Music Association, tending to a ranch with her husband Blaine Switzer (who happens to be a champion tie down roper), and raising a family, it’s no wonder that Switzer put her own songs on the backburner for a few years.
When it finally came time to work on her debut album, Switzer took the advice of some of her contemporaries: “I have a lot of friends who are fantastic songwriters and it’s an honour for me to get to play those songs on their albums. What have I learned? 1. Write what you know. 2. Don’t quit. 3. The listener has to know what the songs are about almost immediately. They shouldn’t have to ask what the song is about.”
It’s clear that Glenna Switzer took this advice, because the songs are personal, but they are immediate and universal enough to perk the ears of first time listeners. Despite featuring songs written at different stages of her life, “Long Time Comin'” is cohesive album in the truest sense of the word. Fittingly, the album begins with the country stomper, “My Drifting Feet” (the first song she ever wrote at age 19) and concludes with the rollicking, fond look back at her younger jam days, “Down at the Jam.” “Long Time Comin'” is a confident debut that is long overdue, but certainly worth the wait.
Glenna has been nominated 7 times for SCMA awards
Receiving an award for founding of the Southwest Chapter of the SCMA
2012 SCMA Keyboard Player of the Year
2011 SCMA Country Music Person of the Year
Glenna was invited by Premier Brad Wall to the Prince’s Lunch for contributions to music and youth in the Southwest.