The Trail Of Aching Hearts is the newest recording by Chicago based bluegrass band, Special Consensus. Led by banjo player Greg Cahill, current IBMA President, Special Consensus has been producing great bluegrass music 12 albums, and this lucky number 13 is no exception.
Due to be released May 15, 2007, The Trail Of Aching Hearts is sure to earn the band some well deserved accolades. Even with his busy schedule, Greg took the time to answer a few questions about this new recording via email.
Brance: Where was the CD recorded? And what was the process like?
We are very pleased with this recording, although it was a bit stressful to complete because we toured so much in 2006 that we had to pop into and out of the studio many times to get it done (we usually just sit in Nashville for a week and do the entire recording all at once). But our good friend and master producer/engineer/studio owner Brent Truitt kept us on track (pun intended) and we had some great guest musicians (Tim Crouch, Rob Ickes, Phil Ledbetter and former Special C members Tim Dishman and Tres Nugent) helping us out as well.
Brance: Tell us about the songs on this recording. Special C has a reputation for finding great songs from other genres, primarily swing tunes, or old country songs. What have you got on this CD for us?
The format is similar to all Special C recordings: original songs (two by Ron, including a gospel quartet, and several from friends); a swing tune (Blue Skies by Irving Berlin); an Irish song (Josie’s Reel, co-written by Nashville songwriter Keith Sewell and our friend in Ireland Niall Toner); and old country song (The Shoe Goes on the Other Foot Tonight, from the Marty Robbins repertoire) and a good but obscure song recorded by Flatt & Scruggs (Branded Wherever I Go).
Brance: One last question, where did the title cut come from?
The title song, Down the Trail of Aching Hearts, is one that Ron heard on his car radio some 15 years ago but could never track down. When we played in Ft. Collins, CO this past summer, we visited Conway Gandy, an avid collector of old country music and radio personality for KRFC, and he found the song in his collection, as performed by Hank Snow. We sped it up a bit and made it more grassy sounding and then decided it would be a great title song because of the fine harmonies the boys laid down.
If you have ever been a fan of Special Consensus in the past, you’re sure to love this CD. If you’ve not heard Special C before, then you’ve got quite a treat waiting for you when you hear this CD. Samples can be found online at the band’s Myspace page.