On their new album RIVERS AND ROADS, Special Consensus shines on a well-curated set of top notch bluegrass songs. The core band—Greg Cahill (banjo, vocals), Rick Faris (guitar, vocals), Nick Dumas (mandolin, vocals) and Dan Eubanks (bass, vocals)—has never sounded better and shows the depth of their vocal and instrumental mastery on the album’s lead off track “Way Down the River Road”, a John Hartford original, augmented by the dancing feet of former John Hartford Stringband member Mark Schatz. Other stand out tracks include “She Took the Tennessee River”, a song destined to become a bluegrass classic, penned by Becky Buller who contributes a blistering fiddle solo and featuring the inimitable Bobby Osborne on lead and harmony vocals. On “Hurting Sure”, written by Mark Simos, the band enlists the talents of label mate Molly Tuttle on lead and harmony vocals as well as a clawhammer banjo part that dovetails elegantly with Greg Cahill’s Scruggs-style banjo. 10 String Symphony and the album’s producer Alison Brown join the quartet on a virtuosic arrangement of the old time instrumental “Squirrel Hunters” with another tip of the hat to John Hartford.
Over the past 40+ years, the members of veteran bluegrass outfit Special Consensus have served as evangelists for the genre, bringing their own spin on Mid-Western bluegrass to audiences around the globe. Their commitment and talents have been recognized with a GRAMMY nomination and three IBMA Awards including Instrumental Recorded Performance for “Fireball” from their 2016 release Long I Ride.