35 years of Special C on video

Back on October 23rd, Special Consensus celebrated their 35th year of performing bluegrass music from their home base of Chicago, IL.

Through all these years, the only constant has been banjo picker Greg Cahill, who has managed the band since its inception – when he was a youngster, like most of the musicians he has brought along to pick with him since.

Not long after the show, Greg sent along a brief overview of the evening’s entertainment, along with a few photos from his special night.

“The 35th Anniversary/Reunion concert at the Old Town School of Folk Music on Saturday, October 23 was truly a ‘family reunion.’ In addition to current Special C members (Greg Cahill, David Thomas, Ryan Roberts and Rick Faris), band alums who performed songs from each of the 15 band recordings include Josh Williams, Justin Carbone, Dallas Wayne, Chris Jones, Ashby Frank, Tim Wilson, Dennis White, Robbie Fulks, Marc Edelstein, Ed Walsh, Tim Dishman, Jamie Clifton, Paul Kramer, Scott Salak, Marty Marrone, Drew Carson, Darren Wilcox, Ollie O’Shea, Andrea Roberts, Al Murphy, Colby Maddox, Chris Walz, Tres Nugent and Ron Spears.

What a night!!! The concert began at 8:00 p.m. and ended at 12:45 a.m. (with a 20 minute intermission). Sirius XM radio personalities (and Special C alums) Chris Jones (Bluegrass Junction) and Dallas Wayne (Outlaw Country and Willie’s Place) emceed in addition to performing, and Chris included  interviews he conducted in the green room throughout the show on his program.

A huge thanks to all the musicians who came from across the country (and Canada) to perform and to our families, friends and fans who attended.”

Greg just got back with us yesterday, noting that video was now available of the show’s grand finale, which brought the whole Hee-Haw gang out on stage for a key of B medley.

“People on the stage at this time include Josh Williams, Marc Edelstein (bass), Rick Faris (mando), Chris Walz (guitar), Jamie Clifton (guitar), Scott Salak (bass), Andrea Roberts, Chris Jones (guitar), Paul Kramer (fiddle), Ollie O’Shea (fiddle), Al Murphy (in back), Tim Wilson (holding mando), Ashby Frank (mand0), Justin Carbone, Ron Spears (singing), David Thomas (bass), Dallas Wayne (in back), Ryan Roberts (guitar), Tim Dishman (bass) and Greg Cahill on banjo.

What a special evening!”

Greg speaks at some length about the formation of the band in a podcast interview we did with him back in 2006. You can hear it here.

Here’s to 35 more!

Photos provided by Tanya Tucka Photography.

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.