Special C on Compass as well

Compass Records has also announced that the next CD from Special Consensus, simply titled 35, will be released on May 25. The title comes from the astounding fact that Greg Cahill is celebrating the 35th Anniversary of the band. Has any other bluegrass group maintained this long – other than The Blue Grass Boys or  The Clinch Mountain Boys?

Cahill has been the constant this 35 years, surrounding himself with a succession of talented young musicians. The current band includes Rick Faris on mandolin/vocals, David Thomas on bass/vocals, Ryan Roberts on guitar/vocals, and Greg on banjo.

Special C was among the bands who were caught unawares by the shuttering of Pinecastle Records in February. 35 was ready for a release on Pinecastle when word of the company’s folding reached the many artists who were to be affected by the news. Greg explained how they went from no label to Compass in a few short months.

“Thanks to Bluegrass Today, several friends contacted Special C band members on the Friday (1/29/10) that you posted the message from Cort Riggs about closing the Pinecastle doors. We were on tour in California at the time. I began trying to contact Cort and other Pinecastle artists to get the complete story, but never did catch up with Cort until the following week (after the doors officially closed on the Monday after the post). After sleeping on the news and talking with the guys in the band, I decided to contact Alison Brown [Compass President] to see if she and [her husband] Garry might have any interest in picking up The Special C – especially since we already had a recording in the works with Pinecastle. Alison and I have been friends for some time and we have worked together on the IBMA board for several years – I have always admired her playing, composing and business talents as well as the diverse Compass catalog. I sent a note to her on Saturday morning and she responded that she would be interested in helping us out.

The other option was to release the recording ourselves. I did not feel ready to undertake that venture at this time due to my time constraints with helping to book and manage the band and with the responsibilities of my position as IBMA President/Board Chair.

After a month or so of extensive discussions and planning sessions, I signed the contract with Compass and they have already pushed the project forward – we produced the master recording and they produced fantastic artwork. We could not be more excited about this release that will have six songs recorded in December by the current band members, and six songs from previous and now out-of-print Special C recordings.

We are very thankful to be included on the roster with so many first class artists in several musical genres on such a forward-thinking and professional label.”

Pre-orders are being accepted ahead of the May 25 release date, and audio samples from all 12 tracks are available on the Compass web site.

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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.