Changes for Special C in 2010

Greg CahillWe heard this morning from Greg Cahill, banjo player, founder and leader of Special Consensus – Special C to their close friends. Greg also serves as the Board Chair of the International Bluegrass Music Association.

He sent along word of some changes in the band lineup for next year, as well as a number of other bits of news as Special C prepares to celebrate 2010 as their 35th Anniversary picking and singing bluegrass music.

Mandolin player/singer/songwriter Ashby Frank will be leaving The Special Consensus in January 2010. He has been with the band for 2 ½ years and has decided to work as a free-lance musician and to play select tour dates with the Mashville Brigade, the excellent aggregation of class-A musicians from various nationally renowned bands that plays at The Station Inn in Nashville on Tuesday nights. Ashby wrote the title song of the most recent Special C release Signs, which has been on the bluegrass charts since it’s release in March. Be sure to look for Ashby and The Mashville Brigade at a festival near you and of course at The Station Inn on any Tuesday when in Nashville.

Rick farrisThe Special C welcomes Faris Family Bluegrass Band veteran musician Rick Faris on mandolin and vocals. Rick has toured throughout the US and Canada singing and playing guitar and dobro with the family band since 1998. The Faris Family band won several SPBGMA awards over the years and Rick was awarded SPBGMA Midwest Guitar Player of the Year in 2005 and 2008. He is also an excellent luthier, building guitars, dobros and mandolins when not on the road. We are very proud to have such a consummate musician joining our ranks and look forward to working with Rick in the New Year.

2010 is a banner year for The Special C; the band will celebrate the 35 year anniversary of the formation of the band as a touring and recording unit. To celebrate this milestone, the band will be in the Nashville studio of veteran producer/engineer Brent Truitt in December to record a new “special” anniversary release for Pinecastle Records, scheduled for a spring 2010 release. Brent has produced and recorded the past six Special C recordings and this “35th Anniversary” recording will include numerous songs from previous (now out of print) Special C recordings. The new band motto echos the words once written by Buck Owens: “where does the good times go?”

A 35 year anniversary concert is scheduled for October 23, 2010 at the Old Town School of Folk Music in Chicago and will feature performances of songs from The Special C repertoire with the current band along with numerous Special C alums that have appeared on band recordings.

Other Special C news is that the band will begin a new agency representation with Maria Nadauld’s California-based Above the Bay Booking agency in January; we look forward to working with Maria, who has recently booked a January 2010 tour of California for the band.

  • On Nov 20, the Hudson Valley Bluegrass Association, thanks to a grant from the Dutchess County Arts Council, completed their first complete Bluegrass in the Schools program with a visit from Special Consensus to the Poughkeepsie Day School. Greg Cahill and his band could not have been more gracious.
    They presented two student sessions in the afternoon and an evening concert that couldn’t be beat.

    Videos of the school program are at http://frobbi.org/bgschools