Special Consensus - Everything's Alright (CD)

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SKU: PCR1142

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Chicago-based Special Consensus' fifth album on the Pinecastle label has all of the ingredients for a 'best of 2005' nomination. Many bands nowadays have masterful musicianship and emotionally-charged vocalizing, but few can steal the show the way that Special Consensus does with its engaging arrangements of superior originals that capture classic bluegrass ideas and themes in new material. After opening with Johnny Williams' 'What Will Become of Me,' the set progresses through four of mandolinist Ron Spears' songs, three of guitarist Justin Carbone's, and one of banjoplayer Greg Cahill's. Also included are a traditional offering (Today Has Been A Lonesome Day), a Pete Goble/Leroy Drumm piece (She's Walking Through My Memory), and a Carl Jackson/Alan Jackson song (Two Minus One). The latter has a particularly nice hook. The band is rounded out by bassist Tres Nugent, and special guests Randy Kohrs (dobro), Andy Leftwich (fiddles), Josh Williams (mandolin one cut), Tim Dishman (bass one cut). The ever resourceful band takes its name from the writings of Carlos Casteneda, an anthropologist who wrote about the mystical and spiritual beliefs of a Mexican Indian tribe. 'Special consensus' was a Yaqui Indian state of mind where 'all the good things in life connect with the good things of the spirit.' The band was formed in 1975 by Greg Cahill whose early influences ranged from accordion-driven polka music to Flatt and Scruggs. And having a master's degree in social work no doubt helps one become a bluegrass star too. The band's versatility comes through strongly in the material chosen, mostly with a crisp banjo-centric traditional sound but also well-rounded with some country, Celtic and western swing treats. Ron does most of the lead singing, but Justin sings lead on two of his three self-penned cuts. His third, an instrumental 'Beginner's Luck,' is a 3-minute pyrotechnical guitar, banjo and mandolin romp. Had it been included, Leftwich's fiddle would've really enhanced that piece like it does with Cahill's dynamic instrumental reel, 'Old Town Ceili.' Special Consensus' vocal quartet is in the spotlight on Spears' 'Lord Show Me the Righteous Pathway,' nicely arranged with just guitar and mandolin accompaniment. Discriminating bluegrass lovers will find plenty to enjoy on 'Everything's Alright.' This is one artistic and mellifluous album from a very seasoned band with abundant experience, exuberance, energy, and integrity. (Joe Ross, staff writer, Bluegrass Now)

Additional Details

Label: Pinecastle Records

Genre: Bluegrass

Release Date: 03/29/05

UPC: 755757114226

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