New look for Special C

Nick DumasSpecial Consensus rolled out of their big 40th Anniversary Reunion concert in Chicago over the weekend with some big news for Special C fans.

Current guitarist and vocalist, Dustin Benson, will be departing the group after their November 7 show at Nashville’s Station Inn. He had previously indicated his intention to leave, but that he would stick round until a replacement could be found.

40 year Special C veteran and banjo picker Greg Cahill has announced that their current mandolinist Rick Faris will move over to guitar, and that Nick Dumas will come aboard on mandolin and lead vocals. Hailing from Seattle, Nick has been working with North Country Bluegrass, a northwestern group that has previously supplied Chris Luquette to Dirty Kitchen and Stephen Burwell to Quicksilver.

Nick is moving to east Tennessee in December to take up residence and will start with the band in November.

Faris is also a fine guitar builder, and will be playing one of his own instruments onstage with Special C.

Cahill also shared a few words about their 40th Anniversary concert. These reunions have become must-see shows for those in Chicago, where some of the best and brightest in bluegrass reassemble to honor the band and their fearless leader.

Special Consensus 40th Anniversary show at the Old Town School of Folk Music in Chicago (10/24/15) - photo by Dave Kolars“Had our big 40th anniversary/reunion concert at the Old Town School of Folk Music in Chicago on Saturday. It was just great to see everyone – so many alums came in to participate: Chris Jones, Robbie Fulks, Don Stiernberg, Dallas Wayne, Marc Edelstein, Ed Walsh, Colby Maddox, Chris Walz, Dennis White, Tim Wilson, Justin Carbone, Ron Spears, Darren Wilcox, Marty Marrone, Ollie O’Shea, Paul Kramer, Scotty Salak, Keith Baumann, Drew Carson, David Thomas and Tim Dishman joined current band members Rick Faris, Dustin Benson, Dan Eubanks and myself for a show that lasted about five hours. Lots of music and many stories were included in the performance.”


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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.