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Special Consensus

Everything's Alright – 2005 (Pinecastle)

Reviewed by Larry Stephens

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CDs by Special Consensus

Special Consensus' new CD is a rocking look at bluegrass that may be their best yet. The lineup of musicians around founder Greg Cahill seems to always be changing and their live performances are usually as a four-piece band. Here they are joined by some familiar names including Andy Leftwich (fiddle) and Randy Kohrs (Dobro). The band can hold its own in any group of pickers and Cahill is recognized as a premier banjo player.

Greg has been joined by Ron Spears on mandolin and doing most of the lead singing. Spears makes a good lead singer although he sometimes sounds a bit stretched, as if they need to drop the key a step (or two or three on "Today Has Been A Lonesome Day"). At least two of their songs illustrate how the traditional country sound of the '50's - '70's has found its way into bluegrass - since it's disappeared from country radio. "She's Walking Through My Memory" (Pete Goble and Leroy Drumm) and "Two Minus One" are pure country and sound great bluegrass style. Can they rock? Your foot can't stop tapping when they step into Bluegrass Swing (all that's missing is Bob Wills' yelp) on "The Lights Are Out (But Somebody's Home)." And what is bluegrass without the Smoky Mountains - "Carolina Smoky Mountain Home" - a good, Ron Spear's penned tune.

With strong albums like this Greg Cahill and Special Consensus will be pleasing their fans for years to come.