Compass Records has announced a new album coming up with Special Consensus, their seventh with the label since 2011. It has been a good ride for the band with Compass, seeing not only critical praise for their recent recordings, but awards and Grammy nominations coming along as icing on the cake.
This next project will be called Great Blue North, Special C’s tribute to Canada, which will feature music by Canadian songwriters, with a number of Canadian guest artists appearing with them on the tracks.
Founder and fearless leader, banjo man Greg Cahill, says that the idea just makes sense.
“Special Consensus has toured regularly in Canada since our earliest days, and counts many great Canadian bluegrass players and singers among our musical friends. After we released CapeBreton-based J.P. Cormier’s song, Blackbird, last year, we began to think that recording an album of all Canadian songs would be a great way to tip our hats to the immense talent in the Canadian bluegrass community. Getting to collaborate with some of our northern friends on the project was the icing on the cake.”
A debut single drops on Friday, Alberta Bound, from the pen of Canada’s most celebrated songwriter, the great Gordon Lightfoot. It’s an all-star event, with vocal contributions from Claire Lynch, Pharis & Jason Romero, and the Jaybird Trio, consisting of Patrick Sauber, Trisha Gagnon, and John Reischman from John Reischman & The Jaybirds. Ray Legere plays fiddle, and the song concludes with what they call “the NAFTA Choir,” consisting of Ray Legere, John Showman, Claire Lynch, Patrick Sauber, Trisha Gagnon, John Reischman, Pharis Romero, Jason Romero, Michael Prewitt, Greg Blake, Dan Eubanks, and Greg Cahill.
Of course the members of Special C form the backbone of the track, with Cahill on banjo, Greg Blake on guitar, Michael Prewitt on mandolin, and Dan Eubanks on bass. Lead singers and harmony vocalists swap out throughout the song. See how many you can identify!
Have a listen…
Alberta Bound will be available on February 24 from popular download and streaming services online.
Great Blue North is set for release on May 12. Pre-orders and pre-saves are enabled now online.